Friday, March 13, 2009
PILATUS BRITTEN-NORMAN “ISLANDER”
|STANDARD DATA: (Islander) Seats 10. Gross wt.6,600. Empty wt. 3,738. Fuel capacity 137-196. Engines two 300-hp Lycomings.
PERFORMANCE: Top mph 180. Cruise mph 164. Stall mph 49. Initial climb rate 1,130. Range 900. Ceiling 18,000. Takeoff distance (50') 1,100. Landing distance (50') 1,170.
STANDARD DATA: (Trislander) Seats 18. Gross wt.10,000. Empty wt. 5,843. Fuel capacity 197. Engines three 260-hp Lycomings.
PERFORMANCE: Top mph 180. Cruise mph 166. Initial climb rate 980. Ceiling 13,150. Takeoff distance (50') 1,950. Landing distance (50') 1,445.
The Britten-Norman Islander is a popular, fixed gear twin for commuter/feeder work. With accommodations for up to nine passengers plus a pilot, the Islander can also be operated as a freighter carrying more than a ton of cargo. The high-wing twin has three forward opening doors, two on the port side and one on the starboard. Passenger baggage is stored in a large 30 cu.ft. bin behind the cabin with an access door on the port side. Delivery of the Islander began in August 1967, but the great number of orders from over 50 countries forced Britten-Norman to subcontract manufacture of a number of the mini-airliners to the British Hovercraft Corporation. Others were produced in Romania by IRMA. Buyers were able to choose Lycoming engines: 260 or 300 hp. A Rajay turbocharging unit increased the Islander’s twin-engine ceiling to 26,000.
A choice of wings was offered, so the plane could be fitted with the standard 49-foot-span wings or extended 53-foot wings, using raked tips and auxiliary fuel tanks. In 1970, Britten-Norman introduced an enlarged version of the twin-engine Islander with a third engine mounted high on the tail in a tractor position. The three engines were 260-hp 0-540-E4C flat-sixes turning Hartzell two-blade constant-speed fully feathering propellers. Three versions of the Trislander are the BN-2A Mk 111-2 (a standard version with extended nose baggage compartment), the BN-2A Mk 111-3 (with an automatic feathering system for the props), and the BN-2A Mk 111-4 (with a rocket engine for additional thrust if an engine fails on takeoff). In 1978, Pilatus Aircraft Ltd. of Switzerland acquired all the assets of Britten-Norman Ltd., including the facilities on the Isle of Wright. BN-2B-20 and BN-2B-26 remain in production. The turboprop (Allison 250) powered BN-2T has been built since 1981. In July 1998 it was renamed back to Britten-Norman, and from April 2000 it became B-N Group