Will Convert Prototype CN235 In Elizabeth City, NC
The U.S. Coast Guard Aviation Logistics Center has purchased the prototype CN235 aircraft and plans to transform it into an HC-144A maintenance training unit. The HC-144A (pictured in file photo) is based on the Airbus Military CN235 tactical airlifter. The transformation will configure the CN235 with systems from the HC-144. The systems will have built-in faults that will allow maintenance personnel the opportunity to learn troubleshooting on actual HC-144 aircraft.
“It is very satisfying to see this airframe being used as an integral part of the HC-144A program,” said Sean O’Keefe, EADS North America Chairman and CEO. “We look forward to its performing many years of service in training the technicians who will keep the fleet safe in the air.”
The USCG Aviation Technical Training Center, located in Elizabeth City, NC, currently has similar training aids for other fleet aircraft including the EADS Eurocopter MH-65 Dolphin helicopter. The HC-144 maintenance training unit will be the first of its kind for an Airbus Military aircraft when the transformation is complete.
Formally known as P1, the CN235 prototype was christened Infanta Elena after the Spanish royal family member who acted as its godmother on its rollout in 1983. It was initially demonstrated at the Farnborough and Paris airshows and was dedicated to the certification and development of the CN235 aircraft platform. It later served as a company demonstrator for the -100 series, -200 series and maritime patrol version.
The United States Coast Guard operates fourteen HC-144A Ocean Sentry Maritime Patrol Aircraft and has four additional planes on order scheduled for delivery in 2013 and 2014.