By INS Contributors

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia--Commercial aviation will receive a new lease of life in the post-pandemic world through the introduction of versatile light modular aircraft.

These new machines are optimised for production at smaller manufacturing sites, utilising new technologies including advanced C&C machining and 3D-printing and advanced materials allowing them to be manufactured at lower cost.

This represents a fundamental shift from the current model of vast factories and manufacturing plants which use labour intensive techniques, something no longer viable due to the new norm following COVID-19, with staff cutbacks and an emphasis on a smaller workforce utilising greater automation.

Not only have such aircraft made a comeback in military circles with the adoption of the Embraer Super Tucano under the United States Air Force Light Attack/Armed Reconnaissance (LAAR) or Light Air Support (LAS) program and various other countries from NIgeria to the Philippines, the concept has made inroads with civilian applications.

Not only are these aircraft easily manufactured in smaller and highly automated production sites, they are cheaper to maintain and as capable as other aircraft in their class, with the advantage of prospective aircraft manufacturers being abv to quickly set up a production chain.

Of the models being produced, RED HARPY is a light single or twin-engine aircraft that can be configured for a variety of roles, including light civilian transport, amphibious transport, for evacuation and observation, light cargo and other capabilities.

Able to cruise at a speed of 120 km/ph or a maximum speed of 160 km/ph, with a maximum ceiling of 3,500 meters and a maximum flight endurance of 12 hours, making it suitable for a variety of civilian applications.

The twin engine configuration places both engines above the wing, allowing modifications for use as a water taxi, or an emergency aerial medical station into areas with poorly developed infrastructure as can be found in many developing nations.

RED HARPY is able to operate within a wide temperature range of -20/+60 degrees celsius, making it suitable for operations in a wide variety of climates, from deserts to tropical islands acting as a platform for tourism, medical services and even as an observation platform to counter transnational organised crime.

Military configurations of RED HARPY can be built, with the primary difference to the civilian model being the addition of composite, ceramic or metallic armour plate as per the customer’s requirements, weapon systems within its weight class and suitable avionics, navigational and electronic systems.

Such a configuration allows for light strike, reconnaissance, limited electronic warfare and as a battlefield medical station, able to operate from minimalist runways and airstrips making it suitable for counter-insurgency warfare.