US Aircraft A-67 Dragon
Start-up US Aircraft changed direction in its plans to develop a low-cost counter-insurgency aircraft for use in Afghanistan, Iraq and elsewhere. After funding design of the A-67 Dragon by US warbird restoration specialist Golden Aviation, it began working with Brazil's Geometra on an aircraft based on a design by Josef Kovacs, former chief designer of Embraer's EMB-312 Tucano trainer.
The original A-67 made its only flight in October 2006 in Missouri. The aircraft flew from Cassville, Missouri to Golden's base at Monett Municipal Airport, ending with a landing gear collapse.
The Ohio-based company pland to base its A-67 on a scaled-up version of Kovacs' K52, a general-aviation aircraft strongly resembling the Tucano, after testing a Brazilian-built prototype. US Aircraft planed to combine features from both designs, but where the original A-67 had side-by-side seating, the new design uses a tandem set-up.
Powered by a 1,250shp (930kW) Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A-68 turboprop, the 4,620kg (10,200lb) gross-weight A-67 has an estimated maximum cruise speed of 381kt (706km/h) at 20,000ft (6,100m). Endurance will be 10h and external payload 1,620kg.
A subsidiary of US Technology, which produces the plastic media used for stripping paint from aircraft, US Aircraft was funding design work on the A-67, but sought private investors to complete development and begin production.
Engine: 1 × Pratt & Whitney PT6A-67 turboprop, 1,250 shp (930kW)
Wingspan: 38 ft (11.6 m)
Wing area: 211 ft² (19.6 m²)
Empty weight: 4,800 lb (2,200 kg)
Max. takeoff weight: 10,200 lb (4,640 kg)
Maximum speed: 371 knots (427 mph, 687 km/h) at 20,000 ft
Range: 1,880 mi (3,008 km)
Service ceiling: 35,000 ft (11,000 m)
Rate of climb: 4,882 ft/min (1,488 m/min)
Wing loading: 35.1 lb/sq ft