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IAI Arava (Willow)

STOL (Short Take-Off and Landing) Transport Aircraft

IAI Arava (Willow)

STOL (Short Take-Off and Landing) Transport Aircraft


Over 100 of the Israeli Arava were produced from 1972 to 1988 and these fielded across multiple foreign air forces.
National Flag Graphic
ORIGIN: Israel
YEAR: 1973
STATUS: Active, In-Service
MANUFACTURER(S): Israel Aircraft Industries (IAI) - Israel
OPERATORS: Argentina; Bolivia; Cameroon; Colombia; Ecuador; El Salvador; Guatemala; Haiti; Honduras; Israel; Liberia; Mexico; Nicaragua; Papua New Guinea; Swaziland; Thailand; Venezuela

Unless otherwise noted the presented statistics below pertain to the IAI Arava (Willow) model. Common measurements, and their respective conversions, are shown when possible.
LENGTH: 41.67 feet (12.7 meters)
WIDTH: 68.90 feet (21 meters)
HEIGHT: 17.06 feet (5.2 meters)
WEIGHT (EMPTY): 8,818 pounds (4,000 kilograms)
WEIGHT (MTOW): 14,991 pounds (6,800 kilograms)
ENGINE: 2 x Pratt & Whitney Canada (PWC) PT6A-34 turboprop engines developing 750 horsepower each.
SPEED (MAX): 202 miles-per-hour (325 kilometers-per-hour; 175 knots)
RANGE: 656 miles (1,055 kilometers; 570 nautical miles)
CEILING: 25,000 feet (7,620 meters; 4.73 miles)
RATE-OF-CLIMB: 1,300 feet-per-minute (396 meters-per-minute)

Cargo hold used for 16 airborne troopers or 24 infantry.

Armed military models seen equipped with machine guns, aerial torpedoes, and rocket pods.
Graphical image of an aircraft medium machine gun
Graphical image of an aircraft rocket pod
Graphical image of an aircraft aerial torpedo

Series Model Variants
• Arava 101 - Base passenger transport
• Arava 102 - Passenger airliner variant
• Arava 102B - Transport variant
• Arava 201 - Militarized troop transport variant
• Arava 202 - Militarized transport with lengthened fuselage and revised wing assemblies.


Detailing the development and operational history of the IAI Arava (Willow) STOL (Short Take-Off and Landing) Transport Aircraft.  Entry last updated on 3/11/2019. Authored by Staff Writer. Content ©
During the middle Cold War (1947-1991) period, Israeli Aircraft Industries (IAI) produced the IAI "Arava" for the lightweight Short Take-Off and Landing (STOL) role coveted by many military services of the world. Design work began in 1965 and a first-flight, in prototype form (this example later lost in flight-testing), was recorded on November 27th, 1969 (a second prototype followed into the air on May 8th, 1971). Serial production then went on to yield 103 total units - the work spanning from 1972 to 1988.

Despite its rather modest production total, the Arava has gone on to see global use under various national flags, from Argentina and Bolivia to Thailand and Venezuela (see Operators section for complete listing of users). The aircraft is in the same class as the Ukrainian Antonov An-28 "Cash", Spanish CASA C-212 "Aviocar", the Canadian de Havilland DHC-6 "Twin Otter" light-class haulers - all detailed elsewhere on this site.

For its STOL capability, the Arava achieved this through a lightweight design coupled to powerful turboprop engines and a braced, high-mounted monoplane wing assembly. Its overall design was relatively conventional with a "podded" centralized fuselage nacelle containing the flightdeck and cargo hold. The mainplanes were fitted at the shoulder and each member held an engine nacelle which protruded from the leading edge. Along the aft line of the members emanated tailbooms leading to the rear of the aircraft. The tailbooms were joined at the rear by a shared horizontal plane between them and further capped by individual vertical fins. The raised nature of the tail unit allowed for unfettered access to the cargo section of the aircraft. For ground-running, a fixed (non-retracting) tricycle undercarriage was installed - its fixed nature reducing both operational cost and complexity.

Dimensions included a running length of 41.5 feet, a wingspan of 68.8 feet, and a height of 17 feet. Empty weight is 8,815lb against a Maximum Take-Off Weight (MTOW) of 15,000lb.

The aircraft are typically crewed by two pilots seated in a traditional side-by-side configuration. The cargo hold carries room for up to twenty-four combat-ready infantry or, in their place, sixteen fully-equipped paratroopers (the latter for airborne assaults). This can further be substituted for general cargo loads and medical litters as required by mission parameters.

Power to the aircraft has been through 2 x Pratt & Whitney Canada (PWC) PT6A-34 series of proven turboprop engines, these particular units yielding 750 horsepower each. The engines are used to drive three-bladed propeller units and this helps to propel the aircraft to speeds of just over 200 miles-per-hour (general cruising being closer to 195-198 mph). Range is out to a useful 655 miles with a service ceiling of 25,000 feet being possible and a rate-of-climb reaching 1,300 feet-per-minute being reported.

Various forms of the base design were eventually realized: the Model 101 was brought online to serve the civilian transportation market and was eventually joined by the one-off Model 101A. The Model 101B, Model 102, and Model 102B were all also intended for civilian airspace use. The Model 201 began the line of militarized forms and the Model 202 introduced winglets as well as an onboard Auxiliary Power Unit (APU) while the Model 202B was equipped for the Electronic Warfare (EW) role. Other military models could be further equipped with weapon stations and hardpoints - supporting machine guns (medium and heavy types), rocket pods, and aerial torpedoes.

The proposed Model 203 was to rely on jet propulsion but was not furthered. Likewise, the Model 301 was to be equipped with a French Turbomeca "Astazou" engine and the Model 401 would have been an enlarged variant with turboprop engines - neither was evolved.


Our Data Modules allow for quick visual reference when comparing a single entry against contemporary designs. Areas covered include general ratings, speed assessments, and relative ranges based on distances between major cities.

Image of collection of graph types

Relative Maximum Speed
Hi: 300mph
Lo: 150mph
This entry's maximum listed speed (202mph).

Graph average of 225 miles-per-hour.
City-to-City Ranges
Graph showcases the IAI Arava (Willow)'s operational range (on internal fuel) when compared to distances between major cities.
Aviation Era
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Useful in showcasing the era cross-over of particular aircraft/aerospace designs.
Unit Production (103)
Comm. Market HI*: 44,000 units
Military Market HI**: 36,183 units

  * Commercial Market High belongs to Cessna 172.

  ** Military Market High belongs to Ilyushin Il-2.

Altitude Visualization
Small airplane graphic
Supported Roles
Ground Attack
Aerial Tanker
A2A=Air-to-Air; UAV=Unmanned; CAS=Close Support; ASW=Anti-Submarine; AEW=Airborne Early Warning; MEDEVAC=Medical Evac; EW=Electronic Warfare; SAR=Search-Rescue
Commitments / Honors
Military lapel ribbon for Operation Allied Force
Military lapel ribbon for the Arab-Israeli War
Military lapel ribbon for the Battle of Britain
Military lapel ribbon for the Battle of Midway
Military lapel ribbon for the Berlin Airlift
Military lapel ribbon for the Chaco War
Military lapel ribbon for the Cold War
Military lapel ribbon for the Cuban Missile Crisis
Military lapel ribbon for pioneering aircraft
Military lapel ribbon for the Falklands War
Military lapel ribbon for the French-Indochina War
Military lapel ribbon for the Golden Age of Flight
Military lapel ribbon for the 1991 Gulf War
Military lapel ribbon for the Indo-Pak Wars
Military lapel ribbon for the Iran-Iraq War
Military lapel ribbon for the Korean War
Military lapel ribbon for the 1982 Lebanon War
Military lapel ribbon for the Malayan Emergency
Military lapel ribbon representing modern aircraft
Military lapel ribbon for the attack on Pearl Harbor
Military lapel ribbon for the Six Day War
Military lapel ribbon for the Soviet-Afghan War
Military lapel ribbon for the Spanish Civil War
Military lapel ribbon for the Suez Crisis
Military lapel ribbon for the Vietnam War
Military lapel ribbon for Warsaw Pact of the Cold War-era
Military lapel ribbon for the WASP (WW2)
Military lapel ribbon for the World War 1
Military lapel ribbon for the World War 2
Military lapel ribbon for the Yom Kippur War
Military lapel ribbon for experimental x-plane aircraft
* Ribbons not necessarily indicative of actual historical campaign ribbons. Ribbons are clickable to their respective campaigns/operations.

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