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Britten-Norman BN2 Mk.III Trilander


BN-2A-2 Mk.III

The Trislander was born out of the Islander concept during 1970. The creation of a Trislander involved a larger and strengthened tail fin, a stronger rear fuselage structure, new main landing gear units and the insertion of a 2.29 fuselage "plug" to create space for 17 passengers and a pilot. Designated BN2A Mk.III, the prototype first flew in September 1970.

Full UK CAA certification came in May 1971 and the first delivery came on 29 June, less than 300 days after the prototype first flew. Some 73 Trislanders were manufactured but the downturn in general aviation in the late 70s and upheavals at Britten-Norman led to the production line at Gosselies being closed down and subsequently new owner, Pilatus, decided to withdraw the jigs and tooling from Belgium. The aircraft was still selling albeit slowly and did not promise to provide a significant return on investment. The Trislander was placed on hold.

In August 1982 production rights were sold to the International Aviation Corporation based in Miami, Florida. Included in the deal were eight complete aircraft and components for a further twelve aircraft. IAC renamed the aircraft the Tri-Commutair and announced their intention to deliver 35 aircraft by July 1984 as well as a turbine variant. It is thought that production was never initiated.

BN2A-2 Mk.III Trislander has a long nose, droop flap and wing tip tanks. The commuters are powered by three 260 hp Lycoming O-540-E4C5 engines, have a wingspan of 53 feet and a MAUW of 10,000 lbs. With an airframe that is 75% common with the twin engined BN2. The Mk.III-2 versions incorporated a longer nose and forward baggage compartment.




First built: 1971.
Engine: 3 x Lycoming O-540-E4C5, 260 hp.
TBO: 2000 hrs.
Prop: Hartzell 2 blade, constant speed 80 in.
Seats: 18.
Length: 44.8 ft.
Height: 14.2 ft.
Wingspan: 53 ft.
Wing area: 337 sq.ft.
Wing aspect ratio: 8.
Max ramp wt: 10,000 lbs.
Max take off wt: 10,000 lbs.
Standard empty wt: 5750 lbs.
Max useful load: 4250 lbs.
Max landing wt: 10,000 lbs.
Wing loading: 29.7 lbs/sq.ft.
Power loading: 12.8 lbs/hp.
Max useable fuel: 1170 lbs.
Climb rate: 1000 fpm @ 80 kts.
Climb gradient: 750 ft/nm.
Rate of climb @ 8000 ft: 600 fpm.
Service ceiling; 13,600 ft.
SE rate of climb: 290 fpm @ 80 kts.
SE climb gradient: 218 f/nm.
SE ceiling: 4500 ft.
Max speed: 159 kts.
75% cruise: 144 kt.
55% cruise: 130 kt.
Cruise @ 65% power @ 8,000ft: 137 kts.
Fuel flow @ 65% power @ 8,000ft: 225 pph.
Endurance @ 65% power @ 8,000ft: 5 hr.
Payload max fuel: 2775 lb.
Range max fuel/75% pwr: 550nm/3.8hr.
Range max fuel /55% pwr: 643nm/5.0hr.
Stalling speed clean: 61 kts.
Stall speed flaps down: 50 kts.
Turbulent air penetration speed: 133 kts.
Fixed undercarriage.
1.3 Vso: 100 kt.
Min field length: 1950 ft.


Engines: 3 x Lycoming O-540-E4, 260 hp.
Seats 18.
Gross wt.10,000 lb
Empty wt. 5,843 lb
Fuel capacity 197 USG
Top speech 180 mph.
Cruise speed 166 mph.
Initial climb rate 980 fpm.
Ceiling 13,150ft
Takeoff distance (50ft): 1,950 ft
Landing distance (50ft): 1,445ft.

Britten-Norman BN-2A Mk. III - 2 Trislander
Length: 43.734 ft / 13.33 m
Height : 14.173 ft / 4.32 m
Wingspan : 52.986 ft / 16.15 m
Wing area: 336.913 sq.ft / 31.3 sq.m
Max take off weight: 10010.7 lb / 4540.0 kg
Weight empty: 5699.9 lb / 2585.0 kg
Max. speed: 159 kt / 294 km/h
Cruising speed: 152 kt / 282 km/h
Wing load: 29.73 lb/sq.ft / 145.0 kg/sq.m
Range: 609 nm / 1127 km
Engine: 3 x Avco Lycoming O-540-E4C5, 256 hp
Crew: 2
Payload: 17 Pax



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