Finmeccanica-Alenia Aermacchi has successfully completed first flight-tests of the C-27J battlefield airlifter configuration aircraft with new winglets.

The winglets are extensions of the aircraft’s wingtips and are aimed at enhancing flight performance through increasing the lift-drag ratio.

The new development is part of a series of product developments underway on the military medium turboprop airlifter in the market, the company stated.

With this new modification, the aircraft will benefit from better hot and high runway performance, increased payload, range and endurance.

Moreover, the upgrade will result in reduced operating cost.

The winglet design includes some parts that are manufactured by a new 3D additive manufacturing technology, Alenia Aermacchi said.

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"With this new modification, the aircraft will benefit from better hot and high runway performance, increased payload, range and endurance."

During the first test, which took place in Turin-Caselle facility, Italy, Alenia Aermacchi collected all the data to verify the design objectives achievements that deliver the basis for a decision to equip winglets into the C-27J design.

The test series saw the ground test of material characteristics and properties that was aimed to support flight qualification.

Powered by two AE 2100D3 turboshaft engines, the C-27J Spartan is a multi-mission aircraft designed to conduct cargo transportation, logistic support of military units, electronic surveillance, fire-fighting and search-and-rescue operations.

In April, Alenia Aermacchi delivered the first C-27J Spartan tactical aircraft to the Peruvian Air Force (FAP) during a ceremony at Las Palmas base in Lima, Peru.

Image: The C-27J during its first flight with winglets. Photo: courtesy of BestShotAircraft.