Monday 19th July 2021 saw the arrival at Scotland’s Prestwick Airport of six Embraer A-29B Super Tucano aircraft and supporting Dornier Do-328 for an overnight stop as part of their delivery flight to the Nigerian Air Force.
These six aircraft are the first to be delivered to their new owners, who have ordered twelve aircraft from the Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC) via a Foreign Military Sales contract with the United States Government.
As with the Afghan aircraft previously delivered through Prestwick, the Nigerian examples are first built at the Embraer facility in Jacksonville, Florida, prior to embodiment of specific customer modifications by SNC at their facility in Centennial, Colorado. Following modification the aircraft were based at Moody AFB, Georgia to allow pilots and maintenance personnel to receive instruction on the type. It is believed that the second batch of six aircraft will be delivered to Nigeria before the end of the year.
Delivery from Moody AFB commenced on the 14th July with the aircraft departing for Worcester, Massachusetts (KORH) accompanied by their support aircraft, Dornier 328 D-CAAN of 328 Support Services GmbH (328SSG), a wholly owned subsidiary of the Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC). By the 15th July the aircraft had all arrived at Goose Bay, Labrador (CYYR) safely, however unknown circumstances led to a short two day delay with the aircraft not departing for Kangerlussuag, Greenland (BGSF) until the 18th July. All seven aircraft arrived at Reykjavik-Keflavik, Iceland (BIKF) later on the 18th for an overnight layover prior to departing for Scotland the following morning.
First to arrive at Prestwick was the Dornier 328, D-CAAN with the A-29Bs following in two formations of three aircraft using the callsigns RAVEN81 and RAVEN91 Flight respectively. Arrival order for the aircraft was as follows:
RAVEN81 – 83: 19-2033, 19-2034 and 19-2036 all in a distinctive two-tone sand camouflage scheme with national markings and serials covered.
RAVEN91 – 93: 19-2038 (Two-tone sand camouflage), 19-2039 and 19-2040 both carrying a dark green and tan ‘jungle’ style camouflage scheme, also with national markings and serials covered.
Surprisingly given the earlier delay, the aircraft stayed overnight at Prestwick departing for Zaragoza, Spain (LEZG) the following morning.
Information available via a number of sources suggested that the onward routing would then take the aircraft to Algeria before arrival at their new home.