The twin-engined, civilian market Dornier Do 328 turboprop regional airliner serves as the basis for the United State military's C-146 "Wolfhound" transport. The modified aircraft is used by United States Special Operations COMmand (U.S. SOCOM) in the frontline transport role, conducting various missions in support of special forces actions. The series has been in constant service with the branch since October 2011 and continues to play an integral role in operations throughout the world.
The aircraft retains much of the form and function that makes the Model 328 a commercial success. It relies on two powerful Pratt & Whitney Canada PW119C series turboprop engines driving multi-blade propeller units to achieve the necessary performance and has inherently excellent short-field/rough-field traits, allowing it to serve from prepared and unprepared runaways as needed. The high-wing mounting of the mainplane provides the necessary lift-versus-drag, enhancing these traits. The operating crew of two sit side-by-side at the cockpit which is aft of a short, sloped nosecone assembly offering excellent vision. Beyond this, the airframe relies on a proven T-style tailplane arrangement and short-legged tricycle landing gear.
Internally, the aircraft can be arranged to haul passengers (up to twenty-seven) or cargo (rated up to 6,000lb) or a mix of the two. Various cargo configurations are available for modularity and mission flexibility. Additionally, the platform can be outfitted to undertake the MEDEVAC role and ferry wounded elements out of harm's way and towards safety and medical care (up to four litters can he ferried). A dedicated loadmaster crewmember manages the hold and its contents.
Each engine outputs 2,282 horsepower allowing the aircraft to reach speeds of 310 miles-per-hour and range out to 1,500 nautical miles. Its service ceiling is 31,000 feet.
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