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Bulgaria (2018)

Detailing the development and operational history of the LASA T-Bird Single-Engine, Twin-Seat Light Attack / Counter-Insurgency Aircraft.

 Entry last updated on 7/12/2017; Authored by Staff Writer; Content ©

  LASA T-Bird  
Picture of LASA T-Bird Single-Engine, Twin-Seat Light Attack / Counter-Insurgency Aircraft
Picture of LASA T-Bird Single-Engine, Twin-Seat Light Attack / Counter-Insurgency Aircraft

The LASA T-Bird is a Bulgarian militarized modification of the existing Thrush 510G agricultural industry aircraft.

The LASA "T-Bird", from Bulgaria-based LASA ("Light Armed Surveillance Aircraft"), is another entry into the growing low-cost close support / attack category that currently includes the Air Tractor AT-802U, the L-3 Technologies "Longsword" and the IOMAX "Archangel". The T-Bird relies on the proven framework of the agricultural-industry-minded Thrush 510G series fixed-wing aircraft and adds to it a host of systems and sub-systems to make for a dedicated light-strike platform with low operating costs and high loitering times.

The aircraft was debuted at the 2017 Paris Air Show and is known to be operating over the African continent under private contractor ownership.

The T-Bird is intended for the light strike / counter-insurgency role as well as Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) roles. Its design origins are ideally suited for these sortie types where time-in-the-air is a key requisite. Tactical capability and survivability are added to make for a viable weapons platform.
The wing mainplanes have clipped tips and are straight, given multiple (three-to-a-wing) underwing hardpoints for the carrying of bombs, rocket pods, machine gun pods and precision munitions while also providing the needed inherent lift and drag for low-level flying. At the "chin" position is an optics fit (housing an electro-optical camera and data-link). The wheeled undercarriage is fixed and of a "tail-dragger" configuration while be rugged for short field / rough field operations. The tail unit seats a single vertical stabilizer and low-mounted horizontal planes in the usual way. As the T-Bird is developed from the existing 510G, it is powered by the same General Electric H80 series turboprop engine and this is used to drive a four-bladed propeller at the nose. Internally, the aircraft seats two in tandem and features all-modern glass cockpits (night vision capable) with Western instrumentation and avionics (the latter provided for by Aspen Avionics). The cockpit and engine sections are armored against the hazards of low-altitude, low-speed attack runs.
Cockpit picture from the LASA T-Bird Single-Engine, Twin-Seat Light Attack / Counter-Insurgency Aircraft
LASA T-Bird Cockpit Picture
LASA T-Bird Specifications
National Flag Graphic
Year: 2018
Type: Single-Engine, Twin-Seat Light Attack / Counter-Insurgency Aircraft
Manufacturer(s): LASA Engineering, LTD - Bulgaria
Production: 1
Supported Mission Types
Ground Attack
Close-Air Support
Airborne Early Warning
Electronic Warfare
Aerial Tanker
Passenger Industry
VIP Travel
Business Travel
Special Forces
Crew: 2
Length: 29.20 ft (8.9 m)
Width: 44.29 ft (13.50 m)
Height: 9.19 ft (2.80 m)
Empty Weight: 3,704 lb (1,680 kg)
MTOW: 6,945 lb (3,150 kg)

Installed Power
1 x General Electric H80 turboprop engine developing 800 horsepower and driving a four-bladed propeller at the nose.

Standard Day Performance
Maximum Speed: 140 mph (225 kph; 121 kts)
Maximum Range: 404 mi (650 km; 351 nm)
Service Ceiling: 15,092 ft (4,600 m; 2.86 mi)
Rate-of-Climb: 1,000 ft/min (305 m/min)

Six underwing hardpoints (three to a wing) for the carrying of conventional drop bombs, precision drop bombs, gun pods, rocket pods and cannon pods.

Operators List
Limited Operation (Africa).

Series Model Variants
• T-Bird - Base Series Name.

Supported Weapon Systems
Graphical image of an aircrat automatic cannon
Graphical image of an aircraft machine gun pod
Graphical image of an aircraft cannon pod
Graphical image of an aircraft rocket pod
Graphical image of an aircraft conventional drop bomb munition

Images Gallery