11/11/1983: The CASA/IPTN CN-235

11/11/1983: The CASA/IPTN CN-235

DALLAS — Today in Aviation, the twin-engine medium-range regional airliner and transport aircraft CN-235 took to the skies for the first time in 1983. After testing, the aircraft was certified in 1986 and entered service on March 1, 1988.

The aircraft was a joint venture between the Spanish manufacturer Construcciones Aeronáuticas SA (or CASA for short) and the Indonesian plane maker IPTN. Both parties subsequently formed Airtech International to oversee the program.

However, this partnership only covered the series 10 and 100/110 with subsequent variants developed individually. 

A Binter Canarias CN-235 on display at the Farnborough Air Show. Photo: Ken Fielding, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Civilian Use

Although the CN-235 was initially developed for a military role, it did enjoy some limited success as a passenger airliner. Spanish flag carrier Iberia (IB) ordered a total of nine examples to be used by its Binter Canarias (NT) and Binter Mediterraneo (AX) subsidiaries. The type would serve with the carriers from 1989 until being replaced by the ATR-72 in 1997. 

Other notable passenger carriers that used the type included the Argentinian carrier Austral Lines Aéreas (based in Cordoba), its subsidiary, Inter Austral (AU), and Merpati Nusantara Airlines (MZ) of Indonesia. The latter was the largest civilian operator of the type and at one time had 15 in its fleet 

However, it was in its military role that the CN-235 found the most success. The type has been used as a surveillance aircraft, a personnel transport, and for maritime patrol. The biggest user of the type is Turkey, which utilizes 59 CN-235s within its Army, Air Force, and Navy. 

Featured image: Presidential Airways CN-235, formerly belonging to Binter Mediterráneo. Photo: By U.S. Army photo by Pvt. Cody A. Thompson, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=8693547

European Deputy Editor
Writer, aviation fanatic, and Airways European Deputy Editor, Lee is a plant geek and part-time Flight Attendant for a UK-based airline. Based in Liverpool, United Kingdom.

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