South African state-owned aerospace and defence technology conglomerate Denel has completed a full-size mock-up of its Small African Regional Aircraft (SARA) concept. Launched in 2014 to help retain and develop South African aerospace design capabilities, it was originally a paper exercise, but its full potential is now being realised.
Denel, together with the Departments of Public Enterprise and Trade and Industry as well as the Joint Aerospace Steering Committee, commissioned a feasibility study from Lufthansa Consulting, the results of which confirmed there’s both a market and business case for developing the 24-seat aircraft.
Denel believes there’s a potential African market for 140 new and 170 replacement aircraft over the next 15 years, plus a global demand for 1,500 units over the next 20 years, and is seeking both domestic and international risk-sharing partners to help progress the programme into the production phase. It hopes to have a prototype flying in the next two to three years. Denel