Local company Vliegmasjien is continuing with the assembly of its C-Wolf amphibious aircraft, and aims to showcase a flyable prototype at the Africa Aerospace and Defence (AAD) exhibition in September.
Andre Labuschagne, Marketing Consultant for Vliegmasjien, told defenceWeb that the aircraft’s ADEPT Airmotive 320T engine has undergone some 30 hours of pre-installation testing on the dyno at Adept's facility in Durban. It is currently being fitted with a catalytic converter exhaust system as per Vliegmasjien's requirements before being shipped to Johannesburg for final fitment into the airframe.
“Adept is helping with this to ensure the performance is not compromised and we need their OK looking at future engine certification whilst we want to ensure she runs as quiet as possible,” Labuschagne told defenceWeb. The engine will be cooled by Vliegmasjien’s proprietary angled tube 12x12 inch radiators on both sides of the motor, each fed by both a NACA duct and a RAM inlet and each having its own suction fan and electric water pump whilst the engine is also fitted with an oil cooling system.
In June last year Vliegmasjien said they hoped to install the engine in August 2015 and conduct the first engine runs in September 2016. However, Labuschagne told defenceWeb that due to further development and certain delays things have been going much slower than anticipated and “we have therefore lowered our sights and moved the programme forward by 8 months”.
Vliegmasjien has applied for funding assistance from the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) but there was some delay with this due to an earlier moratorium that was in place. “This is now in process and well on track,” he said. The DTI is currently at an advanced stage of appointing consultants to perform due diligence for the project, and hopes to finalise this process as soon as is possible.
The C-Wolf (nicknamed “the Boeremeisie”) will be displayed at AAD 2016 and although the aircraft will not be flown in, Labuschagne said she will be capable of this. The C-Wolf was first unveiled to the public at Waterkloof Air Force Base in Pretoria during AAD in September 2012. Vliegmasjien was planning to exhibit at AAD 2014 but postponed that for 2016 in order to focus on aircraft development.
The first prototype of this South African designed and developed amphibious bush plane (referred to as an integration test rig or ITR) is being hand built with the aid of temporary tooling, but a second aircraft would use production standard moulds and jigs, with the full length fuselage being moulded in two halves for ease of construction.
The C-Wolf was conceptualised by Wolfgang Vormbaum some thirty years ago when he envisaged a rugged bush plane that he could use to go travelling with his family and luggage. The C-Wolf has been designed for a multitude of purposes, from maritime surveillance to anti-poaching and leisure flights into virgin territory.
The C-Wolf will have an empty weight of around 900 kg and a conservative maximum take-off weight (MTOW) of around 1 700 kilogrammes. Between six and seven people would be comfortable, although Labuschagne said eight could be squeezed into the cabin. By removing the seats, it becomes a versatile transporter, with a total interior volume of 5 900 litres. There are various luggage spaces in the C-Wolf, including in the pontoons, under the seats and in the tail boom under the engine.
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