Super Mushshaks, Super Popular!

Published in Show Daily 2018 - Day 1

The 260hp Super Mushshak training aircraft has gained a new lease of life since a new glass cockpit has been integrated. (Alan Warnes)

The Super Mushshak trainer aircraft has seen a renaissance in its popularity since being fitted with a digital ‘glass cockpit’.

After sales to Qatar Air Force (eight) and Nigeria (10) in 2016, manufacturer Pakistan Aeronautical Complex (PAC) won its biggest export order to the Turkish Air Force for 52 aircraft in April 2017. This was followed in July 2017, by a sale of another ten to Azerbaijan.

In the space of a year or so, PAC had racked up the sale of 80 Super Mushshaks. The government owned facility is offering the 260hp piston aircraft, with options for two different glass cockpit configurations.

The Turkish AF has selected the Garmin 950 avionics suite for its aircraft, which will replace its fleet of SF260s and Cessna T-41s based at Izmir-Kaklic and Istanbul-Yesilkoy for student pilot and undergraduate training respectively. All 52 aircraft are being delivered over the next three years. The previous PAC Chairman, Air Marshal Arshad Malik, signed the deal with Turkey’s Undersecretary for Defence Industries Professor Dr. Ismail Demir, at the International Defence Exhibition and Fair (IDEF) in Istanbul in May, 2017. It came nine months after the Super Mushshak had been selected in August 2016.

The Qatar Air Force examples have all been all fitted with Garmin 950 avionics too, while the ten aircraft for Nigeria, are operated with a Dynon avionics suite. The Nigerian Air Force was initially loaned three PAC-owned and one PAF aircraft to train instructor pilots before the ten new aircraft were delivered in 2017. It is unclear which avionics system Azerbaijan selected.

The PAF’s Asghar Khan Academy operates around 60 Super Mushshaks for basic flying training and a number of them have been upgraded with the glass cockpit to train student pilots. New life has been breathed into a trainer that, PAC’s Aircraft Manufacturing Factory has been assembling and manufacturing since 1975. Until 2017, the last export customer was the Saudi Arabian Air Force which purchased 20 aircraft in 2003.