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Valmet L-90 TP Redigo or RediGo is a Finnish four-seat military training aircraft intended to act as a combined primary and advanced trainer. It was developed from the L-80 TP Turbo-Vinha, which, in turn, was developed from the L-70 Vinka. It is the last military aircraft created in Finland.

Development Edit

Despite the fatal crash of the L-80 prototype OH-VBB in 1985, the work on the type continued. The crash was found to have been caused by the Allison 250 engine: it was longer and more powerful than the Lycoming used in Vinkas, which moved the propeller too far forward and disrupted the aircraft's balance. Another prototype, OH-VTP, was built and renamed as the L-90 TP Redigo. Its tail was fitted with various kinds of fins to restore the balance. It flew for the first time on 1 July 1986. A second prototype, equipped with a 425 hp (317 kW) Turbomeca TP 319 engine was also built, and flew in December 1987.

Disaster struck again the next year. On 29 August 1988 OH-VTP crashed in Belgium during an air show, killing the pilot. In spring 1989 the new main designer, Jukka Raunio, finally found the critical flaw in Redigo's construction: the rear fuselage was too short, which most importantly put the tailplane in the path of the airstream. The rear fuselage was lengthened by 63 cm and winglets were also added in the wingtips. The improved Redigo first flew in January 1990.

In fall 1995 the Redigo's manufacturing rights were sold to Aermacchi, which redesignated the type as the Aermacchi M-290 TP RediGo. Not a single M-290 was sold, and the type was soon dropped, leading to speculation that Aermacchi just wanted to eliminate the Redigo from the market.

Service Edit

The Finnish Air Force was not interested in the Redigo, since there was no place for it in the existing pilot training path. The Ministry of Defence nevertheless bought ten Redigos for the FAF in an effort to boost export sales. In Finnish service the Redigos were primarily used as liaison aircraft, and coded RG-1 to RG-10. One (RG-5) was written off after a ground mishap in 1995, and the rest were retired in 2013. Five of them were sold to Sweden.

The Eritrean Air Force bought eight Redigos as a part of an offset agreement after the FAF ordered F-18 Hornet fighters. The Mexican Navy also bought eight Redigos as substitutes for the Pilatus PC-7s it could not afford. This makes the Redigo the only Finnish military aircraft to be exported in significant quantity, although the sales were still disappointing.

Users Edit

Specifications Edit

  • Crew: 1
  • Capacity: Up to 3 passengers
  • Wingspan: 10,60 m (34 ft 9 in)
  • Length: 8,53 m (28 ft)
  • Height: 3,40 m (11 ft 2 in)
  • Wing area: 14,80 m² (159 sq ft)
  • Airfoil: root: NACA 63-218 (mod); tip: NACA 63-412 (mod)
  • Empty weight: 890 kg (1,962 lb)
  • Maximum take-off weight: 1,670 kg (3,682 lb), 1,900 kg (4,189 lb) with external load, maximum landing weight 1,600 kg (3,527 lb)
  • Powerplant: 1 x Allison 250-B17D turboprop, 420 hp (313 kW). Later Allison 250-B17F, 450 shp (340 kW)
  • Maximum speed: 350 km/h (217 mph)
  • Range: 1,500 km (932 miles)
  • Service ceiling: 7,500 m (24,606 ft)
  • Armament: None by default, six hardpoints for a weapon load of 800 kg (1,764 lb)
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