Colombia’s Air Force is producing its own small aircraft to replace airplanes that have been in service for decades.
Twenty-five pieces of the $280,000 T-90 Calima should be finished by the end of the year to replace the Air Force’s Cessnas T-41 Mescalero and Beechcrafts T-34 Mentor who have been in service for more than 40 years.
The Colombian-made aircraft is 29 feet long, weighs 1,500 pounds, has a Lycoming IO-390 A1-A6 engine of 210 horse power and is able to fly at a speed of 150 knots (130mph).
The T-90 Calima is supposed to be used for military training purposes.
The Colombian air force hopes to not just produce the airplanes for its own use, but is hoping the T-90 Calima will allow Colombia a more prominent place in the international defense industry.
“We have given a fundamental step to becoming Latin American leaders in the aeronautics industry, after Brazil,” Lieutenant Colonel Martin Zorrilla told Colombia.inn, a daughter of Spanish news agency EFE.
“It’s necessary we improve our commercialization structure, learn the services we can provide as those responsible for the production to become an aeronautic authority,” said the air force commander.
According to Zorrilla, Colombia will need another four years before it is able to offer the airplane on the international market.