Alenia G222 46-27 Italian Airforce
The Alenia G.222 (Alenia originally Aeritalia) is a medium-sized STOL military transport aircraft. It was originally developed to meet a NATO specification, but Italy was initially the only NATO member to adopt the type. Decades later, the United States purchased a small number of G.222s, designating them the C-27 Spartan after much modification.
The G.222 is of typical configuration for aircraft of its type, with high-mounted wings, twin turboprop engines, and a rear loading ramp. The cargo deck is sized to accommodate standard 463L pallets, has a door in the floor for airdropping, a built-in oxygen delivery system for medevac operations, and platforms at the side doors for paratroop deployment.
In 1962, NATO issued a specification for a V/STOL transport aircraft (NATO Basic Military Requirement 4), but none of the various submissions resulted in a production contract. The Italian Air Force, however, felt that the Aeritalia proposal was worthy of development and ordered two prototypes plus a ground-test airframe in 1968. These aircraft were slightly simplified from Aeritalia's original proposal. The first prototype flew on July 18 1970 and the Air Force began evaluating the two prototypes at the end of December 1971. Testing proved highly successful, and a contract for 44 aircraft was issued, the first entering service in April 1978.
Picture added on 14 June 2006