Air International 1987-05
??? - RAF Prepares for Tucano
First flown at the end of December 1986, ZF135 is the first of 130 Tucano T Mk Is to be produced for the RAF by Short Brothers in Belfast. Installation of the Garrett TPE331 engine, to meet RAF performance requirements, results in some small external differences from the PT6A-powered Brazilian model; other, less obvious, changes are described in the accompanying article.
The first production Shorts Tucano T Mk I basic trainer was rolled-out as planned at Belfast on 20 January 1987, having made its first flight on 30 December. Both ZF135 and the second air­craft, ZF136, will shortly go to the A & AEE Boscombe Down for CA Release trials prior to deliveries being made to the RAF.