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Aermacchi AL-60

LASA-60 / AL-60 / C4M Kudu
Operational Aermacchi AL-60B-2 registered in Germany
Role Utility aircraft
Manufacturer Lockheed-Azcarate
Aermacchi
Atlas Aircraft Corporation
Designer Al Mooney
First flight 15 September 1959[1]
Status Retired
Primary users Mexican Air Force
South African Air Force
Produced 1974-1979 South Africa
Variants Northwest Ranger

The Aermacchi AL-60 was a light civil utility aircraft of the late 1950s and early 1960s, originally designed by Al Mooney of Lockheed in the United States. After the company decided not to build the aircraft in the US, it was manufactured in small quantities in Mexico and a few were assembled in Argentina (Santa Isabel, Córdoba, by Aviones Lockheed-Kaiser Argentina but the new factory was never built). It was also built in quantity under licence by Aermacchi in Italy[2] and Atlas Aircraft Corporation.

Contents

  • Development 1
  • Variants 2
  • Military operators 3
  • Specifications (AL-60B2) 4
  • See also 5
  • References 6
  • External links 7

Development

Lockheed flew only two prototypes of the AL-60 (in 1959) before deciding that it would be unprofitable in the US marketplace. Instead, the company chose to manufacture it under a joint venture in Mexico as Lockheed-Azcarate (LASA). 18 were produced in 1960 for the Mexican Air Force, as the LASA-60.

In Italy, Aermacchi purchased a licence to produce the type, first in its original configuration as the AL-60B, then in a modified version for various African customers as the AL-60C. This latter version changed from the original tricycle undercarriage to a taildragger arrangement.

The AL-60C version was built under license by Atlas Aircraft Corporation in South Africa. This aircraft was designated the Atlas C4M and known as the Kudu. Over 40 aircraft were built and served the South African Air Force between 1974 and 1991.

A number of C4M Kudu aircraft are still flying privately and have proven well in the role of skydive release aircraft. There is currently a project underway to re-engine the Kudu with turbine engines. This design known as the Atlas Angel or Turbine Kudu.[3]

In 1968 Macchi sold the rights to the aircraft to Northwest Industries of Edmonton, Alberta, Canada and the design was developed into the Northwest Ranger, with development continuing until 1972.[4]

Variants

Kaiser-built L-402 at Don Torcuato near Buenos Aires in 1972
An Atlas C4M Kudu at the South African Air Force Museum
L-402
Lockheed prototypes and a few assembled by Kaizer
LASA-60
Mexican production model (44 built)
AL-60B-1 Santa Maria
Original Aermacchi-built version (4 built)
AL-60B-2 Santa Mari
Production Aermacchi version (81 built)
AL-60C-5 Conestoga
Aermacchi-built version for the Central African Republic
AL-60F-5 Trojan
Aermacchi-built version for Rhodesia (~10 units)
Atlas C4M Kudu
Atlas-built version for South Africa

Military operators

 Central African Republic
 Italy
 Mexico
 Mauritania
 Rhodesia
 South Africa
 Tunisia

Specifications (AL-60B2)

Data from Jane's All The World's Aircraft 1966–67[6]

General characteristics

Performance

See also

Aircraft of comparable role, configuration and era

References

Notes
  1. ^ Taylor 1961, p. 272.
  2. ^ Flying: 8. December 1969. 
  3. ^ World Airnews - Kudu with a Turboprop - Birth of an Angel
  4. ^ Plane and Pilot: 1978 Aircraft Directory, page 58. Werner & Werner Corp, Santa Monica CA, 1977. ISBN 0-918312-00-0
  5. ^ aeroflight
  6. ^ Taylor 1966, pp. 88–89.
Bibliography
  • Taylor, John W. R. Jane's All The World's Aircraft 1961–62. London: Sampson Low, Marston & Company, 1961.
  • Taylor, John W. R. Jane's All The World's Aircraft 1966–67. London: Sampson Low, Marston & Company, 1966.

External links

  • photograph and details (in Spanish) of the sole Chilean example, c/n 1002
  • AL60 photographs and info in Rhodesia
  • Atlas Kudu Survivors List with Pictures
  • Aircraft.co.za - Aermacchi AL-60 / Atlas Kudu
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