M28’s Tour of America. Fighting For New Sales Markets

  • Fot. B.I. Loveszdandar/Siły zbrojne Węgier via Ministerstwo obrony Litwy
    Fot. B.I. Loveszdandar/Siły zbrojne Węgier via Ministerstwo obrony Litwy

Polish M28 Bryza (breeze) aircraft began a promotional tour in the Caribbean and South America. During the two months, the aircraft is going to pay a visit to 13 cities in 7 states, presenting, above all, the operational potential across a variety of weather and climate conditions, as well as its STOL capabilities. Currently, we may witness a growing desirability characterizing this type of aircraft. Lockheed Martin company, which is currently the owner of the Polish PZL-Mielec facility, seems to be making effort to use the opportunity formed by the aforesaid circumstances. 

M28 promotional tour is expected to begin in mid-March, in Trinidad and Tobago. Next, the ground and flying crews will travel towards the continental part of Americas: Brazil, Argentina, Ecuador, Columbia, Panama and to Mexico. The aircraft will also be presented, between 4th and 7th April, during the biannual LAAD Defence and Security Exhibition in Rio de Janeiro. This is a significant chance to showcase the M28 aircraft in this part of the world, within a market which still remains to be saturated. This is also an important change, when it comes to the promotional activities regarding the M28 which, since the very beginning of its existence, having been included in the PZL Mielec offer, has not yet been promoted as an offering of the Sikorsky Aircraft company. For Lockheed Martin, the whole initiative may become an interesting opportunity to complement the offer of airlifters, at the moment comprising of the C-130 turboprop aircraft. M28 would pave the way towards reaching the customers who would like to acquire a much smaller airframe of unique performance.

The upcoming demonstration which is to take place in 7 countries constitutes a prime example of the benefits brought to Sikorsky and PZL Mielec, after both companies have been taken over by Lockheed Martin. The said entity has accumulated several years of experience in providing services to civil and military customers in the Caribbean and Latin America.

Janusz Zakręcki, President of the Management Board, PZL Mielec

At the moment, more than 100 M28 aircraft are operated worldwide, they are utilized both by civil, as well as by military users. M28 is a modern STOL class twin-engined airplane, also enabling the user to quickly adapt the cabin for a variety of missions, including passenger and cargo flights, or parachute jumps. Thanks to the fact that the cabin may be quickly reconfigured for a variety of missions, it is also possible to prepare the aircraft, rapidly, also for other sorties, also in combined scenarios, in which both personnel, as well the cargo are carried. M28, in the Polish Armed Forces, is used to carry out a variety of tasks, including transport sorties, training for the paratroops, reconnaissance or research flights.  

Mielec M28 Bryza Skytruck
Image Credit: PZL Mielec

M28 is also being offered in a variety of specialized variants, such as a maritime patrol aircraft or a reconnaissance platform. These versions are often utilized by the Polish Navy, or by the Border Guard. M28-05 Bryza aircraft operated by the Polish Border Guard has been involved in the Frontex missions, connected to the migrants inflow in the Mediterranean region. In case of the tender, recently announced by the Border Guard, the goal of which is to acquire multi-engined aircraft fitted with a radar and optronic systems, Mielec-designed airframes will, undoubtedly, constitute a serious proposal, especially in the light of the fact that the service mentioned above is already operating the M28.

When it comes to the foreign contractors, M28, so far, has been used by special forces and air forces of the United States of America, Guyana, Jordan, Venezuela, Indonesia and Vietnam. This is a proof of a wide spectrum of capabilities offered by Bryza. Estonia may also soon become a user of the M28 aircraft. Estonians hope that M28 would be acquired from the US Special Forces, nonetheless, acquisition of brand-new airframes from Mielec is also being planned. 

We are noticing a heightened interest in procurement and using the M28 aircraft in Africa, Asia, India, as well as in Central Europe, in the regions of the Caribbean Islands and in Latin America. These regions require people and goods to be often transported to relatively poorly equipped airfields, which makes this market, potentially, very promising for the M28. It is a proven and reliable aircraft which may be operated in even the toughest conditions, with minimum external support required.

Janusz Zakręcki, President of the Management Board, PZL Mielec

PZL M28 Bryza is a twin-engined turboprop STOL airframe. Thanks to the wings which provide more lift, option of reversing the thrust and its sturdy landing gear, the M28 is capable of landing on unprepared strips, the length of which is shorter than 345 meters. M28 maximum take-off weight is 7500 kilograms, with 2300 kilograms of payload. Its range is longer than 450 kilometres. M28 airframe has been certified by the FAA, EASA, Brazilian ANAC, Indonesian, Nepali (CAAN), Taiwanese (CAA) and Indian (DGCA) aviation authorities. Civil sorties carried out by the M28 include skydiving missions, MEDEVAC, maritime patrol and reconnaissance, as well as SAR operations. Specialized military variants are also widely available. 

READ MORE: United States Withdrew 2/3 of the Polish M28 Skytruck Airframes From The Active Service