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With the signature, on 24 August, of an agreement with the Financial Aid Institute of the Armed Forces for the financing of the IA-100B MALVINA basic trainer programme, Argentine aircraft builder FAdeA resumed the project that had started in 2015 with a technology demonstrator, but was stopped in 2016.

The plane was originally designed with a two-seat, side-by-side configuration, but has now evolved into a three-seat (two up front, one behind) aircraft, with a complete redesign of the cabin and other aspects. Additional changes over time have included full aerobatic capability and the addition of a retractable landing gear.

The programme restart follows the issuing of an operational requirement by the Argentine Air Force in May for a basic trainer, to replace the Tecnam P2006 and Grob 120TP for elementary and basic training. The fundamental aim of replacing the ageing airframes is to reduce operational costs.

The factory expects certification to be achieved within 26 months and development costs to total approx. $4.5 million (€3.8 million). It expects to sell 25 aircraft to the Argentine Air Force and 12 to the Navy, at a unit cost of $659,813. There is also an intention to develop a four-seat version for the private market at a later date. Deliveries for the Air Force are expected to start in 2022 and for the Navy in 2023, with completion scheduled for 2025.

The IA-100 is the factory’s first project to reach the prototype stage since the IA-63 PAMPA was developed in the 1980s, at the time being the first to use composite materials. The company plans on making the aircraft available and attractive to foreign customers.

Santiago Rivas and Florencia Lucero Heguy in Buenos Aires for MON

An artist’s impression of the FAdeA IA-100 (Image: FAdeA)

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