First pro­duc­tion con­form­ing Scor­pion jet com­pletes suc­cess­ful first flight

SP's MAI - - AEROSPACE -

Tex­tron AirLand LLC an­nounced the suc­cess­ful maiden flight of the first pro­duc­tion-con­form­ing Scor­pion jet. This pro­gramme mile­stone closely fol­lows the re­cent suc­cess­ful weapons ca­pa­bil­ity ex­er­cise on the pro­to­type Scor­pion com­pleted in early Oc­to­ber. The Scor­pion jet is a bold new di­rec­tion for tac­ti­cal air­craft de­signed to ex­cel in roles rang­ing from in­tel­li­gence, sur­veil­lance and re­con­nais­sance to close air sup­port and armed re­con­nais­sance.

The air­craft took off from McCon­nell Air Force Base in Wi­chita and con­ducted a range of ma­noeu­vres dur­ing the one hour and 42 min­utes flight. The multi-mis­sion, twin-en­gine jet per­formed ex­tremely well and was pi­loted by ex­per­i­men­tal test pi­lots Don Parker and Dave Sitz, who ver­i­fied the avion­ics and aero­dy­namic per­for­mance as well as a num­ber of air­craft sys­tems.

The lat­est ver­sion of the Scor­pion in­cor­po­rates a num­ber of im­prove­ments based on tar­get cus­tomer feed­back as well as re­sults from the ex­ten­sive flight test pro­gramme. The pro­gramme has ac­cu­mu­lated more than 800 flight hours in both test and real-world op­er­a­tional set­tings.

The com­pany also an­nounced Garmin as the avion­ics provider for the en­hanced Scor­pion. This avion­ics plat­form is based on the ad­vanced G3000 in­te­grated flight deck and is op­ti­mised for rig­or­ous mil­i­tary op­er­a­tions. The newly con­fig­ured G3000 avion­ics sys­tem fea­tures a large, high-def­i­ni­tion dis­play com­ple­mented by two high-def­i­ni­tion touch-screen con­trollers and pro­vides more mis­sion ca­pa­bil­ity in the for­ward cock­pit po­si­tion, ad­di­tional nav­i­ga­tion ca­pa­bil­ity in the rear cock­pit po­si­tion and over­all weight sav­ings for im­proved per­for­mance as a multi-mis­sion air­craft.

The first pro­duc­tion con­form­ing Scor­pion will start a ro­bust flight test pro­gramme, work­ing closely with the US Air Force on the first of its kind air­wor­thi­ness as­sess­ment of a non-De­part­ment of De­fense mil­i­tary air­craft de­sign. The Scor­pion is very ver­sa­tile in terms of mis­sion flex­i­bil­ity with its cen­tre pay­load bay, six hard points, high dash speeds and ex­tended en­durance and loi­ter time at cruise speeds.

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