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Press Release July 2020

July 10, 2020
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  • This year sees the latest update from Blackshape, the Gabriel-TP, a more affordable choice but with much higher level of aviation technology than all other competitors in the market.
  • Blackshape offers to transfer knowledge and technology for aircraft manufacture in Southeast Asia countries.

While the first launch of the Gabriel date back years ago, Blackshape has been continually adding improvements to their aircraft to facilitate trainer ambitions in technology, airframe avionics and software. The latest version is Gabriel Turboprop (Gabriel-TP), upgraded from Gabriel BK160 which was demonstrated during Singapore Airshow 2020 on February. Gabriel-TP provides a more efficient engine, longer life, cheaper at operation and maintenance, and is sold at more affordable price.

Gabriel Turboprop

Gabriel-TP is the newest turboprop version,

Gabriel-TP is a low-wing two-seat tandem aircraft, best suited for military pilot training, certified by the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) in the CS-VLA category.

Powered by a Roll Royce turboprop engine, it is capable of 200 KTAS at sea level, while carrying external payloads such as camera or laser-guided missiles for a light-strike/COIN attacker training. It is equipped with 2 full-glass cockpits a data-recording system that allows session analysis of trainee’s performance and turns the aircraft into “something like a flying laboratory”. Safety features include military-grade wiring, five-point seatbelts, and anti-blast fuel tanks, and a unique ballistic parachute designed to save both pilots and the aircraft.

Gabriel-TP can serve for both civil and military aviation. Its ideal users are who simply want to get somewhere fast, want to enjoy a higher level of emotion in flight, and flying schools that want to offer more advanced training to trainee pilots at a feasible operation cost, resting assured that spare parts are easily purchased and in-country manufacturing is possible.

Aircraft manufacturing industry

Blackshape is willing to cooperate for local production in Southeast Asia countries including: Philippines, Vietnam, Myanmar… either knock-down kits or full technology transfer for in-country manufacturing. The transfer could provide a good opportunity to establish an aviation high-tech technology to develop state-of-the-art aircraft while shortening time and cost for R&D phase and certifying aircraft.

Gabriel BK160 and Gabriel-TP are distributed via Blackshape’s local subsidiary Asia Security Technology (AST) headquartered in Singapore.

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February 22, 2020
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Italy’s Blackshape may be small but it is already making waves with its Gabriel and ISP light aircraft, which are making their Singapore air show debuts on the static display.

Gabriel – designated the BK-160 – is a two-seat trainer with a maximum take-off weight (MTOW) of 850kg (1,870lb), designed for the “stick and rudder” elements of instruction, says Blackshape founder and chief executive Luciano Belviso.

Gabriel was designed to fill a gap in the market created by a lack of purpose-built training aircraft: “The majority of aircraft were not designed as trainers – they became trainers because of availability”, he says. “The Gabriel is the first plane designed for training for several decades.”

Powered by a single 160hp (120kW) Lycoming piston engine, the Gabriel is equipped with data-recording systems which turn the aircraft into “something like a flying laboratory”, says Belviso, and allow better analysis of a trainee’s performance.

European certification was obtained in 2017, and an MTOW increase was approved in 2019. Service entry also came last year, says Belviso, with both undisclosed civil and military customers.

The BK-100 ISP – or Intelligence and Surveillance Platform – is a lighter aircraft with a 600kg MTOW, powered by a 100-115hp Rotax engine. It can carry a variety of electro-optical sensor payloads.

Both types are made of carbonfibre and feature glass cockpits and retractable landing gear.

Founded in 2010, Blackshape is based in Grottaglie in southern Italy and is owned by conglomerate Angel Group. It is sharing a stand at Singapore with its local distributor Asia Security Technology (AST).

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