Tecnam’s P2006T is a twin-engine, maritime surveillance light aircraft developed by Tecnam in Italy. The aircraft made its maiden flight in September 2007.
About 20 aircraft were in service in the European market by January 2010. The US has ordered roughly 100 aircraft and the deliveries began in 2011.
The PT2006T is an economical four-seat aircraft suitable for long-range patrolling. It requires only makeshift runways and low maintenance. It has one crew member and can accommodate three passengers.
Development and design of the Tecnam P2006T
Tecnam started development of the aircraft in 2006 under the name P2006 very light twin (VELT). The first prototype, Tecnam P2006T, was ready by September 2007.
The €355,000 aircraft was developed to reduce the gap between the cost of single and twin engine general aviation aircraft, with a focus on niche markets. It resembles the Partenavia P.68 Oscar. Tecnam’s P2006T is considered to be one of the most economic, spacious and light twin engine aircraft on the market.
The P2006T is 8.69m long and 2.84m high, with a wingspan of 11.4m. The mono spar configured high wings offers stability. Wing area of the aircraft is 14.75 square metres. The glass cockpit is equipped with avionics suite from Garmin and comprises G1000, G950, 530 and 430 systems.
The aircraft has an empty weight of 760kg and can carry a payload of 280kg, including the full 200l fuel tank capacity. The spacious interiors allow 60kg for baggage.
Low weight of the aircraft was achieved thanks to its all aluminium airframe, low power-to-weight ratio of the engine, structural and system efficiency. Engines mounted on the wings also reduce the aerodynamic weight and decrease the structural weight. The aircraft has a fully retractable tricycle landing gear.
Propulsion powering the twin-engine, maritime surveillance light aircraft
The aircraft is powered by two liquid-cooled, four-cylinder, four-stroke, FAR 33 certified Rotax 912S3 engines. The horizontally opposed cylinders with geared piston engines generate 98.6hp of power each.
Low engine drag and propeller rotation speed and a streamlined fuselage enhance the aerodynamic efficiency.
Avgas 100LL or 92 octane unleaded automotive gasoline fuel can be used to reduce the operational costs of the aircraft.
Performance of the Italian economical four-seat aircraft
The aircraft has a maximum take-off weight of 1,180kg at a wing load of 78kg/m2. The payload to maximum take-off ratio is 0.36. The aircraft can climb at a rate of 6.4m/s and has a service ceiling of 4,267m.
It has a maximum speed of 287km/h, stall speed of 87 km/h and cruising speed of 250km/h. It has 1,148km of range and 4.25 hours of endurance.
Variation models of the versatile Tecnam P2006T aircraft
A low-cost maritime patrol aircraft (MPA) configuration of P2006T is being developed for littoral surveillance. The aircraft, to be called P2006T maritime reconnaissance intelligence (P2006T MRI), will be completely based on the design of P2006T twin engine piston aircraft.
It will be a cost efficient alternative to helicopters in terms of operation and have a patrol range of about 370km offshore. The MRI can be deployed in rescue missions, illegal trafficking surveillance and protection of marine fleets. It is expected to enter service by the end of 2012.
Spanish shore-based maritime surveillance systems company Indra is its lead developer. Other partners involved in the project include the systems integrator Airborne Technologies and Tecnam. Indra will also develop the ground station for the MRI aircraft.
The P2006T MRI will be equipped with Selex Galileo sensors to allow line-of-sight internet protocol communications with the ground station. The 48kg Seaspray 5000E active electronically scanned array (AESA) multimode surveillance radar will track and survey the oceans. Ultra Force 275 HD of FLIR Systems will be used as the electro optical system for the P2006T MRI. It will include a HD colour camera and an infrared sensor.
Airborne Technologies has also developed the Tecnam Multi Mission Aircraft (MMA), a surveillance and remote sensing aircraft, based on the Tecnam P2006T. It is in service with the US, Russia and Australia.
A hydromapping variant of the Tecnam P2006t was unveiled by the University of Innsbruck and AirborneMapping of Austria in September 2011. It was modified to conduct shallow water bathymetric scanning and allow aerial surveys and research.