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Mon, Jan 30, 2023

Britten-Norman Obtains Type Certification for Tiny Twin Turboprop

High-Wing, Fixed Gear Islander on the Way to American Buyers

An exciting contender to the twin-engine turboprop commuter segment has just been typer certificated, with the British Britten-Norman Islander on its way to the states.

The BN2T-4S Islander sports a pair of Rolls Royce model 250 engines on each of its high wings and storky fixed gear. The Islander has been approved by the UK's CAA and EASA, with progression on its type certificates in Canada and India. The new markets will greatly expand the reach of the BN2T-4S as a strong contender in the rough and tumble twin-engine turboprop market. The 40' wide Islander sports a set of fixed tricycle gear and 9-seat commuter arrangement for reliable passenger operation, slotting in nicely in a niche somewhat unexplored in today's market. 

While Britten-Norman produces piston engined variants of the Islander, with 260-300 hp, only the turboprop version has been approved by the FAA. Whether or not prospective customers find the twin-turboprop costs acceptable in a small 9-passenger aircraft remains to be seen - particularly when the legendary Cessna Grand Caravan has almost wholehandedly locked down the market on a robust, turboprop--powered, high-wing, 10-passenger aircraft. Britten-Norman may find much more interest in the Islander from the same clientele currently purchasing its long list of special mission configurations. 

The Islander (or Defender, in UK military service) can be had with the usual 9-seat configuration, but a bevy of mission-specific configurations allow Islander buyers to round all the bases of special-use aircraft. The executive model sports conference tables and rear facing seating, the air ambulance racks for stretchers, and the special mission a suite of ISR workstations. Whether medevac, transport, or maritime patrol, the Islander could just be the ticket.

“Obtaining type certification for any aircraft is a major achievement and requires a huge amount of effort and hard work satisfying the regulator that the product is not only safe but also meets the most stringent standards. The USA is the world’s largest aviation market and the FAA is a hugely respected regulator of that market. We are very proud to have had the opportunity to work closely with the FAA to achieve this important goal and now look forward to the opportunities this will bring.”

FMI: www.britten-norman.com

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