Returning to Newcastle for the first time since 2015 is the Irish Air Corps CASA Maritime patrol aircraft. It could be one of the last times we get to see the CASA, as a replacement for the long serving aircraft is being sought by the Irish Air Corps and an announcement on the new aircraft is expected between 2018 & 2021.
The CASA CN-235 is a medium-range twin-engined transport aircraft that was jointly developed by Construcciones Aeronáuticas SA (CASA) of Spain and Indonesian manufacturer IPTN, as a regional airliner and military transport. Its primary military roles include maritime patrol, surveillance, and air transport.
Design began in January 1980 with the first flight on 11 November 1983. Spanish and Indonesian certification was on 20 June 1986; the first flight of the production aircraft was on 19 August 1986 and CASA’s FAA type approval was granted on 3 December 1986. The aircraft entered service on 1 March 1988
Although the CN-235 was designed for military purposes in the 1980s, it began to be used as a commercial plane, although it wasn’t a very big success for airlines. Possibly its lack of success was due to its 50-passenger capacity and short range coupled with high fuel usage.
The IAC CASA entered service in 1994 (Having had one on loan from 1992) and has been used in several roles over the years including maritime patrol, to military transport, air ambulence and search and rescue operations.
The Air Corps currently operates two Casa CN 235 Maritime Patrol Aircraft and operate seven days a week usually in the off shore maritime patrol arena.
Working in close conjunction with the Naval Service, the two Casa CN 235 Maritime Patrol Aircraft of 101 Squadron provide an aerial platform for patrolling the Irish Economic Zone, an area of approximately 132,000 square miles or 16% of the total EU sea fisheries. This in itself represents an area almost five times the land area of Ireland and encompasses perhaps one of the most productive fisheries in the world.
Check back on Monday for another Newcastle aircraft profile. Sorry for not getting this up yesterday, I was not near a computer.