88/288 Aircraft, full size, Transavia Airtruk PL-12, Australia, 1965, VH-TRN
The Transavia PL-12 Airtruk is one of the most significant aircraft designed and manufactured in New South Wales in terms of numbers produced with approximately 120 in various versions manufactured before production ceased. The bulk of the manufacture was exported. The total production was achieved without Government assistance although at least three submissions for financial support were presented to the Federal Government. Victa achieved the largest production run for aircraft manufactured in NSW with the Airtourer 100 and 115 with 169 units produced before production ceased in 1966.
The PL-12 Airtruk was designed by Luigi Pellarini who ranks as one of the most prolific aircraft designers in Australia post-World War II. His list of designed and constructed aircraft includes the Fawcett 120, the PL-7 Kingsford Smith Aviation Services Air Tanker, the PL-11 Bennett or Waitomo Air Truck, the PL-12 Transavia Airtruk, the Victa R2 and the PL-13 Pellarini Air Jeep.
With the success of the original concept a more powerful version, the T300 Skyfarmer was produced. Also a version known as the PL-12U was constructed to be used as a multi-purpose aircraft for a passenger/cargo/ambulance role. Several of this type were purchased by the Thai Government for use in the counter insurgency role. Another version, the T320, developed to use the Teledyne Tiara 6-320-2B engine, ceased after a short production run when manufacture of the Tiara engine ended. Total production, as reflected in the financial assistance submissions, was predicted at 85 aircraft. However, the production run may have gone as high as 150 aircraft of all versions, although 120 is a conservative estimate of aircraft produced.