Eurofighter Typhoon Tranche 3 takes to the skies


The first of a new stan­dard of Typhoon has started its se­ries of flight tests. The lat­est Typhoon, known as a Tranche 3, rep­re­sents a ma­jor step­ping stone in the evo­lu­tion of one of the world’s lead­ing com­bat air­craft.

The Tranche 3 stan­dard em­bod­ies a num­ber of un­der the skin changes that ef­fec­tively fu­ture-proof the air­craft and make it more at­trac­tive to cur­rent and po­ten­tial ex­port cus­tomers.

Taken to­gether there have been hun­dreds of mod­i­fi­ca­tions, changes and ad­di­tions which ef­fec­tively means Typhoon has now taken a mas­sive step for­ward.

Mark Kane, BAE Sys­tems Man­ag­ing Di­rec­tor - Com­bat Air said: “For ca­sual ob­servers the air­craft is lit­tle changed from its sleek pre­de­ces­sor but it has a num­ber of pro­vi­sions that will al­low it to take on ad­di­tional ca­pa­bil­ity in the fu­ture. One of the few vis­ual clues is a num­ber of small pan­els on the fuse­lage which are there to ac­com­mo­date the fit­ting of con­for­mal fuel tanks.

Tex­tron AirLand, LLC, a joint ven­ture be­tween Tex­tron Inc. and AirLand En­ter­prises, LLC, has an­nounced that the Scor­pion in­tel­li­gence, sur­veil­lance and re­con­nais­sance (ISR)/strike air­craft com­pleted its first flight on De­cem­ber 12, 2013.

The air­craft took off from McCon­nell Air Force Base in Wi­chita, Kansas, and con­ducted a range of han­dling ma­noeu­vrs for ap­prox­i­mately 1.4 hours of flight. The flight marks one of the fastest de­vel­op­ments of a US-built tac­ti­cal jet, pro­gress­ing from ini­tial de­sign to first flight in less than 24 months.

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