The EADS CASA C-295 is primarily a transport airplane designed to carry troops, equipment, or perform medical evacuations. Its versatility makes it especially attractive to countries that may be involved in a variety of missions, whether they’re humanitarian or military in nature.
The C-295 is manufactured by EADS CASA, a consortium of several European aircraft manufacturers which includes Airbus and Eurofighter, which in itself is a consortium of four member countries. The C-295 became operational in 2001, and 50 of the transport planes are already in the Air Forces of six countries: Poland, Spain, Portugal, Brazil, Algeria, and Jordan.
Though the C-295 can hold large amounts of heavy cargo, it can land and takeoff on short, unpaved runways. This makes the plane especially useful for operations in unimproved areas such as those often relied on during humanitarian airlifts or wartime missions. An added advantage to the C-295 is its rear cargo door. It allows for easy loading and unloading of cargo and can be opened in flight for airdrops of cargo or troops. Depending on the mission, the cabin space can be configured to hold the maximum amount of cargo and/or troops (including injured personnel on litters).
The C-295 Persuader is a maritime patrol and anti-submarine warfare version of the C-295. Because such missions require a plane that can travel at slow speeds and low altitudes in order to perform visual inspections, the C-295 is well suited for maritime patrols. Long missions are typical, and the Persuader can accommodate the flight crew’s needs with sleeping areas as well as sufficient cargo room and observation posts.
Specifics about the C-295:
Maximum speed: 260 kts
Cruise speed: 300 mph
Maximum range: 3,040 nautical miles
Length: 80 feet, 4 inches
Wingspan: 84 feet 8 inches
Height: 28 feet 3 inches
Maximum takeoff weight: 51,150 pounds
Maximum payload: 20, 392.75 pounds
Engine(s): Two Pratt & Whitney Canada 2,645 SHP PW127G engines
Contractor: EADS CASA