The CASA C-212-100 Aviocar is a light military transport that was designed to
operate in areas lacking in infrastructure and unpaved runways. It has a high-wing configuration and
fixed landing gear, is fitted with twin turboprop engines, and has excellent Short
TakeOff and Landing (STOL) capability.
The cargo compartment can accommodate 18 passengers and their luggage, or 16
fully-equipped paratroopers, or 4,409 pounds (2,000kg) of diversified cargo, including road
vehicles. For aeromedical evacuations, 12 litters and seats for two attendants can be mounted. A
rear loading ramp enables different logistic transport tasks to be carried out. It can be
opened while on the ground, to load and unload, or in flight for the airdropping of cargo,
survival equipment or paratroops.
The C-212 was conceived in Spain during the late-1960s and the prototype flew on 26
March 1971. Production of the Series 100 began the following year, powered by two Garrett TPE331-5
turboprops of 715 shp each. The Spanish Air Force was, naturally, an early customer and eventually
received 79 of these, mainly the T.12B (C-212A) transport, but also a few T.12C (C-212AV) VIP
aircraft, TE.12B (C-212E1) dual control trainers and TR.12A (C-212B1) survey machines. Exports
ranged between Chile, Indonesia and Portugal, where IPTN launched licensed production for Far East
customers. Portugal has two EC-212s
for electronic intelligence gathering and ECM duties, these are readily identifiable by their blunt
noses and fin-tip pods containing antennas.
In 1979, the installation of TPE331-10s rated at 900 shp resulted
in the C-212-200 Aviocar, which increases the earlier aircraft's 14,330-pound (6,500kg) maximum takeoff
weight to 16,975 pounds (7,700kg) for normal operations or 17,637 pounds (8,000kg) in military overload
conditions. Spain bought three Series 200s for ECM training as the TR.12D and seven for SAR as the
D.3B. The D.3A designation covered two T.12Bs converted for the medevac role.
The C-212-300 Aviocar, first flown in September 1984, is equipped to fly under
VMC conditions (visual flight) or IMC conditions (flight by instruments). It has similar
characteristics to those of the C-212-100/200, however, it is longer, more powerful, and has
winglets. When used for maritime surveillance, these aircraft are equipped to detect any illegal
activities and, simultaneously, any signs of ocean pollution. In addition to those activities, they
can still carry out the direct electronic measurement of the water surface temperature for
ecological and scientific purposes as well as aerial photography missions.
One Series 300 was modified for the U.S. Army with undisclosed sensors as the
prototype "Grisly Hunter" drug interdiction aircraft; production conversions are based on the
deHavilland Canada Dash 7 transport. At least four Series 300s are used by the USAF's
427th SOS for
undisclosed missions, two operating in 1992 from Incirlik, Turkey, possibly into northern Iraq.
The new C-212-400 Aviocar was formally launched at the Paris Airshow in 1997
(after completing its maiden flight on 4 April 1997) and is fitted with a the latest version of the
Allied Signal TPE-331-12JR engine which improves the aircraft's hot and high performance levels. Its
cargo capacity 6,504 pounds (2,950kg), or 25 paratroopers, or 12 litters and 4 attendants
means that the plane can be fully integrated into the logistical transport system of any air
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