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Saturday, July 26, 2014

FSPMI Light Sport Aircraft (RP-S512): First Filipino-made Operational Aircraft

It has been making headlines in various local publications including internet blogs about what is now considered as the “first Filipino-made aircraft”. It is the two-seater light sport aircraft with tail number RP-S512. However, is it really the “first Filipino-made aircraft”? No, it’s not. We had already built several aircrafts (Defiant 300 is one of them) in the past including a helicopter as what I had discussed in my previous blogs.

Maybe, it’s better to re-brand it as the “first Filipino-made operational aircraft” or “first Filipino-made aircraft in-production”. This aircraft was built by Famous Secret Precision Machining, Inc. (FSPMI) based in Cavite, Philippines. The company is a supplier of aircraft components especially parts of the flight control mechanism of airplanes of various aerospace companies including Boeing and Airbus. 

The RP-S512 Light Sport Aircraft
According to the report by 24 Oras (GMA News), the company had already produced two operational light sport aircrafts. The RP-S512 which was already sold to a costumer in Batangas and the other one which was sold to a customer in Florida, USA and already flying.

Captain Bill Wright, private consultant for the RP-S512 project, said that local use of the aircraft is constrained at present pending clearance from the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP). Wright said that the plane’s category, which is a light sports aircraft, has yet to be recognized by the CAAP.

The plane costs about $100,000 (approximately P4.4 million) and has reached Cavite or Pangasinan and back on test flights. According to Wright, the plane is mostly used by aviation schools for flight instruction and for recreational purposes.

As reported by News 5, the plane has detachable wings that enables its owner to save a parking space not needing a hangar anymore. It can even be parked in a car garage. It has a safety feature, a sensor found in its control panel that can detect whether the wings are tightly and safely attached before take-off. The plane utilizes an unleaded fuel. (Editor's comment: The term "gasolina" in the report may refer to an unleaded gasoline or a common unleaded kerosene-type jet fuel such as Jet A and Jet A-1. Thus, the editor uses a general term "unleaded fuel".)

In a separate interview by Interaksyon (TV5), Jun Ramos (FSPMI marketing head) is confident and hoping that the Philippines will become the next aerospace manufacturing hub in the region at least in the next two to three years. He added that aside from their company, various big players in the industry have recently formed the Aerospace Association of the Philippines due to the growing potential of the business. For their company alone, Ramos said that they are expecting to grow their manufacturing capacity by 50 percent in the next five years due to high demand.

Until recently, the Philippine aerospace industry was largely limited to maintenance, repair and overhaul operations, which covers assembly and maintenance services of aircraft manufactured in other countries, primarily in the United States.

At present, the DOST – Metals and Industry Research and Development Center (DOST-MIRDC) is providing support to other local aviation manufacturers in achieving quality assurance standards including training program as confirmed by Lina Afable, DOST-MIRDC chief of the technology information section. She also added that the industry has a potential to generate jobs.

The RP-S512 aircraft was displayed during the Department of Science and Technology Science Nation Exhibit last July 24, 2014 and ran until July 28 in Pasay City.

"Everybody will be surprised that we could be a winner. The aerospace industry is, to me, the next big potential export winner," said DOST Secretary Mario Montejo. 


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  1. Sana upgrade pa ang eroplanong ito sa fighter jet"?

    1. It's complicated.
      Nakapagwork ako jan fs aerospace department. Lilipat na sila sa sta rosa laguna old bonanza

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