It has been disclosed that cracks were found on the wing spar of the last operational Fokker F-28 of the Argentine AF. Such transport and cargo door version, TC-53, had its final deployments these last weeks on official duties. It was incorporated to the AF in 1975 with uninterrupted duty for over 44 years. This sad but inevitable development has left the Argentine AF with no more jet transports other than small Learjets.
The Argentine AF had implemented minor upgrades within this 21st century to keep the aircraft both operational and airworthy to the current air operations requirements. Supporting it was not an easy task due to the obsolescence of the logistics based on the disappearance of the Fokker company itself and their Rolls Royce Spey engines. Let’s remember what’s happening also with the marine turbines (also RR) in use by the MEKO 360H2 frigates of the Argentine Navy.
Much has been debated over time with many proposals for both F-27 and F-28 replacements, considering all sorts of aircraft, still... the main contender for this purpose is as we published, the Airbus D&S C-295. Considering both the financial and political situation in Argentina, is very unlikely to happen in the short term.
So we can only bid farewell, thank and hope for better times.
Main photo: Raul Bustamante/Andespotters
Update 08/23: Other sources assessed that this is within operational parameters but actually the concern is more related to the extent of the corrosion on its left wing. It can be managed but it has been questioned if it should considering such an effort consuming task for an aircraft that is due to be phased out in almost two months.