Founded in 1923, CASA (Construcciones Aeronauticas SA - now EADS CASA) of Spain began operations building various foreign aircraft types under license. Before long, the company shifted its focus to original designs and went on to find success in that realm with such contributions as the C-101 "Aviojet" twin-seat advanced jet trainer, the CN-235 regional airliner / transport and the C-295 transport (all detailed elsewhere on this site). One other contribution of note is the C-212 "Aviocar" first-flown in prototype form on March 26th, 1971. Series introduction occurred in May of 1974 and nearly 600 examples have been produced since - for both military and civilian operators worldwide.
Design work on the C-212 began in the latter half of the 1960s. The goal of the design was to produce an economically-minded turboprop-powered utility transport with excellent short-field capabilities. This resulted in a high-winged mainplane arrangement (inherently good lift and drag properties) and raised empennage. Two engines would power the design and a short-height tricycle undercarriage would provide the needed ground-running capability while keeping the fuselage as close to the ground as possible (so as to better access the cargo hold at rear).
In Spanish Air Force service, the aircraft was used to succeed an aging line of foreign-born World War 2-era transports. The success of the product in this high-profile role led CASA to develop a civilian market model as well, allowing for up to 28 passengers to be carried in relative comfort.
There have been four primary production forms of the Aviocar, known rather simply as "Series 100", "Series 200", "Series 300" and "Series 400', and within these are the major sub-marks.
The original production model, Series 100, became the C-212A and this represented a military transport form which the Spanish Air Force knew as the T-12B (its MEDEVAC equivalent became the D-3A). Production of this mark totaled 129 examples. A VIP passenger transport model emerged as the C-212AV and the Spanish Air Force designated these as the T-12C. The C-212B designated six pre-series aircraft based on the A-models to be used in the dedicated photographic reconnaissance role. The Spanish Air Force designated these as TR-12A. The first civilian market model of the Series 100 became the C-212C. The C-212D were a pair of modified A-models used in the navigational training role by the Spanish Air Force as the TE-12B.
The Series 200 offered a lengthened fuselage for additional internal space and was introduced in 1979. C-212 200M marked the Spanish Air Force T-12D models and the Swedish Air Force adopted this variant as the Tp 89. The NC-212-200 and NC-212-200 MPA became the Indonesian equivalents by IPTN.
The Series 300 emerged in 1987 and carried slightly different Honeywell engines with four-bladed propeller units by Hartzell. Winglets added to the mainplane tips were introduced for better fuel efficiency and improved control. The C-212-M was the military transport model and the C-212 300 became the passenger airliner. The C-212 300U was the general civilian market utility variant The C-212 300P was another civilian market offering though switching over to the popular Pratt & Whitney Canada TP6A-65 series turboprops.
The Series 300 sports a flight crew of two to three and can haul up to 26 passengers or 24 airborne troopers. In their place can also be transported up to 6,000lb of cargo (which can be air-dropped from the rear cargo door). Overall length of the aircraft is 53 feet and the wingspan measures 66.5 feet while the height reaches 20.7 feet. Empty weight is 20.7 feet with a Maximum Take-Off Weight of 17,000lb listed. Power is from 2 x Garrett AiResearch TPE-331-10R0513C turboprop engines developing 900 horsepower each. Maximum speed is 230 miles per hour while cruising is done near 185mph. Range is out to 1,125 miles and the aircraft's service ceiling is 26,000 feet (the Aviocar does not have a pressurized cabin or cockpit). Rate-of-climb is 1,630 feet-per-minute.
If armed, the Aviocar has been fitted with a pair of underwing hardpoints to carry machine gun pods and rocket pods for general light strike sorties.
The Series 400 stands as an updated model (introduced in 1998) and is fitted with TPE331012JR-170C series turboprop engines. It features an upgraded cockpit fir with new avionics.
The Aviocar is relied on globally from Abu Dhabi and Angola to Vietnam and Zimbabwe. Some militarized forms are also used in the maritime patrol, Electronic CounterMeasures (ECM) and Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASR) roles. its simplicity in design, and general overall reliability, ensures it a place in the inventories of many air services for years to come. The little aircraft is also a favorite of sky-diving companies due to its good handling and performance at the required altitudes.
Production of the C-212 has been ongoing since 1971 with nearly 500 completed by CASA (EADS CASA) and a further 100 or so aircraft from IPTN.
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May 2018 - Indonesian Aerospace has delivered a pair of NC-212I transport aircraft to the military of Vietnam.
Angola; Argentina; Australia; Bolivia; Bophuthatswana; Bosnia and Herzegovina; Botswana; Bolivia; Chile; Colombia; Dominican Republic; Djibouti; Ecuador; Equatorial Guinea; France; Indonesia; Jordan; Lesotho; Malta; Mexico; Nicaragua; Panama; Paraguay; Philippines; Portugal; South Africa; Spain; Suriname; Sweden; Thailand; Transkei; United Arab Emirates; United States; Uruguay; Venda; Venezuela; Vietnam; Zimbabwe
(OPERATORS list includes past, present, and future operators when applicable)
✓Ground Attack (Bombing, Strafing)
Ability to conduct aerial bombing of ground targets by way of (but not limited to) guns, bombs, missiles, rockets, and the like.
✓Close-Air Support (CAS)
Developed to operate in close proximity to active ground elements by way of a broad array of air-to-ground ordnance and munitions options.
✓Special-Mission: Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW)
Equipped to search, track, and engage enemy underwater elements by way of specialized onboard equipment and weapons.
✓Special-Mission: MEDical EVACuation (MEDEVAC)
Extraction of wounded combat or civilian elements by way of specialized onboard equipment and available internal volume or external carrying capability.
✓Special-Mission: Search & Rescue (SAR)
Ability to locate and extract personnel from areas of potential harm or peril (i.e. downed airmen in the sea).
✓Maritime / Navy
Land-based or shipborne capability for operating over-water in various maritime-related roles while supported by allied naval surface elements.
General transport functionality to move supplies/cargo or personnel (including wounded and VIP) over range.
Used in roles serving the commercial aviation market, ferrying both passengers and goods over range.
Used in the Very-Important-Person (VIP) passenger transport role, typically with above-average amenities and luxuries as standard.
✓Intelligence-Surveillance-Reconnaissance (ISR), Scout
Surveil ground targets / target areas to assess environmental threat levels, enemy strength, or enemy movement.
Serving Special Forces / Special Operations elements and missions.
53.1 ft (16.20 m)
66.6 ft (20.30 m)
20.7 ft (6.30 m)
8,333 lb (3,780 kg)
16,976 lb (7,700 kg)
+8,642 lb (+3,920 kg)
(Showcased structural values pertain to the Airbus Military C-212 Aviocar production variant)
Typically none. If armed, two external hardpoints are fitted that are cleared to carry machine gun pods and rocket pods for the light strike role.
(Not all ordnance types may be represented in the showcase above)
Hardpoint Mountings: 2
C-212 "Aviocar" - Base Series Designation
C-212 100 Series - Initial series group
C-212A - Original military transport model.
T-12B - Spanish Air Force designation for C-212A transport.
D-3A - Spanish Air Force designation for C-212A modified for MEDEVAC role.
C-212AV - VIP passenger transport; Spanish Air Force designation of T-12C.
C-212B - Pre-series C-212A converted to photographic-reconnaissance platform; six examples.
TR-12A - Spanish Air Force designation for C-212B.
C-212C - Civilian market model
C-212D - Pre-series C-212A models converted as navigational trainers.
TE-12B - Spanish Air Force designation for C-212D.
NC-212-100 - Indonesian production model of 1976; 28 examples.
C-212 200 Series - Second series group
NC-212-200 - Indonesian production transport
NC-212-200MPA - Indonesian production; service as maritime patroller.
C-212-M 300M - Militarized transport model
C-212 300A (Airliner) - Regional airliner with seating for 26.
C-212 300U (Utility) - Civilian utility model with seating for 23.
C-212 300P (Pratt & Whitney) - Civilian market model with PWC PT6A-65 turboprop engines.
C-212 400 Series - Forth series group; TPE331-12JR-701C engines fitted; modernized avionics and cockpit.
Ribbon graphics not necessarily indicative of actual historical campaign ribbons. Ribbons are clickable to their respective aerial campaigns / operations / aviation periods.
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Image from the United States Department of Defense DVIDS imagery database.
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