Tuesday, September 27, 2016

The Phil. Aerospace Dev't Corporation & The Indigenous Aircraft Revival

This is a government body which deals on aerospace development. That includes the plans of being self-reliant when it comes to aircraft production and improvements.


HISTORY

The Philippine Aerospace Development Corporation (PADC) is considered as a Government-Owned and Controlled Corporation (GOCC) which it deals in maintaining, repairing, fixing and improving/overhaul the capabilities of the aircraft in the inventory in which it covers the planes owned by the Republic of the Philippines.

Established in 1973, the PADC was founded by a presidential decree in which it is established through PD 286 and is further amended by PD 696. Their primary purpose at that time, aside from repairing, overhauling, and assembling newly-procured aircraft, is to conduct a research and to develop the Hummingbird project, which deals in having an indigenous helicopter in which they hope one day will serve the Philippine government, and the Deviant Project which calls for an indigenous light attack trainer aircraft which was later renamed as "centennial" under the tenure of then-president Fidel Ramos.

Furthermore, these projects came under pressure due to alleged copyright and financial matters, in which it will be discussed further within this article.

THE HUMMINGBIRD AND DEFIANT (CENTENNIAL) PROJETS FROM OPUS'S ARCHIVES
The defiant (centennial) project.
The photo above shows the Defiant 300 undergoing inspection in December 1986. The prototype first flew in February, 1987 and and the test flight lasted about an hour. The fuselage was of wood and fiberglass construction and the landing gear was from a Beech T-34 provided by the PAF. The prototype was to have been followed by a larger version of metal construction with a turboprop engine. 

The Defiant trainer and light attack aircraft project started in the 1980s, and a prototype (the Defiant 300) was built with wood and fiberglass components and a 300 hp Lycoming piston engine. 

Government support was spotty (if it existed at all) and further development languished. 

In 1997, during the administration of President Ramos, the Defiant (renamed Centennial?) and Hummingbird helicopter projects were given the green light in line with PADC's mandate to develop indigenous aircraft designs. 

The budget was a meager PHP40 million. 

The project started in July 1997 and included further development of the Defiant into the Defiant 500, which was to be of metal construction and sport a turbo-prop engine and be comparable in capability to the Embraer Tucano, which costs about US$5 million each. 

In August 1998, after PHP34 million had been used the new administration of Joseph Ejercito Estrada shut the programs down, effectively wasting the amount already spent. 

At around this time the new Estrada administration was being flooded with proposals for the Philippine Air Force for such big ticket items as F-15 Eagles and other ridiculously expensive aircraft.
The Hummingbird, a localized version of BO-105
version from Germany.
The primary reason for these to be scrapped are due to the inappropriate spending of funds during Estrada's time plus the Eurocopter, the maker of the BO-105 threatens to sue PADC for copyright which have led to have the Hummingbird prototype gone to scrap. Hence, it justifies the death of the indigenous aircraft production program of the PADC.

THE REPORTED "REVIVAL" OF PROJECTS

The reports of having the revival of the projects are highlighted by a contributor of the Defense of the Republic of the Philippines Facebook group in which we shared it through our page.

On the given photos, it was shown that these are the fuselage that will be used to redevelop hummingbird and defiant (centennial) projects again in the sense that such improvements will one day serve as the part of the push regarding the policy on Self-Reliant Defense Posture or SRDP. In this case, the contributor says that the PADC will definitely have its paperwork done for the copyright in due time as well as saying that these projects are in a whole new league or shall we say, a new ball game. Thus, the potential for the country to have an effective indigenous aircraft built by PADC will be at hand for the time that the Philippines can finally produce its own aircrafts.

CONCLUSIVE HOPES 

Given the updates, it is ascertain that the time will come that it will fully redevelop once again. Setting these things aside, there are uncertainties with regards to the nature of the improvements of the aircraft and the plans PADC laid in order for this to get done. But then again, it really gives SRDP a hope where self-reliance when it comes to defense will definitely get into reality one step at the time. Hence, it will be a big plus for PADC and for the country presuming the development is on hand.

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[PITZ DEFENSE ANALYSIS THREAD OPEN FOR UPDATES]
With regards to this matter, we will have this article and the thread along with it open for updates regarding the developments notwithstanding taking place.

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