T-X po­ten­tial con­tenders fly

Pilot - - NOTES -

On 20 De­cem­ber Boe­ing and part­ner Saab made the first flight of their jointly-de­vel­oped T-X, which is a con­tender for the US Air Force’s fu­ture train­ing re­quire­ments, re­plac­ing age­ing Northrop T-38 Talons. Two days later Tex­tron Air­land LLC flew the first pro­duc­tion-con­form­ing Scor­pion, which, with one rather than its cur­rent two en­gines, and with other mod­i­fi­ca­tions, is a po­ten­tial con­tender for the T-X con­tract.

Dur­ing the Boe­ing T-X’S 55-minute flight, lead test pi­lot Steven Sch­midt said that it “met all ex­pec­ta­tions. It’s well de­signed and of­fers su­pe­rior han­dling char­ac­ter­is­tics. The cock­pit is in­tu­itive, spa­cious and ad­justable, so ev­ery­thing is within easy reach. It was a smooth flight and a suc­cess­ful test mis­sion.” Chief pi­lot for Air Force Pro­grams Dan Draeger, who was in the ‘sta­dium seat­ing’ rear cock­pit, added, “I had a great all-around view through­out the flight from the in­struc­tor’s seat, which is crit­i­cal dur­ing train­ing.” The sec­ond T-X is cur­rently un­der­go­ing ground test­ing and is ex­pected to fly in the early part of this year.

The pro­duc­tion-con­form­ing Scor­pion flew for one hour 42 min­utes from Mccon­nell Air Force Base in Wi­chita. This lat­est ver­sion in­cor­po­rates a num­ber of im­prove­ments based on cus­tomer feed­back, as well as re­sults from the pro­to­type’s 800+ hours in both test and ‘real-world’ op­er­a­tional fly­ing. In ad­di­tion to newly- se­lected Garmin G3000 in­te­grated flight deck avion­ics, changes to the pro­duc­tion Scor­pion’s air­frame in­clude four de­grees of wing sweep, re­designed hor­i­zon­tal sta­biliser for im­proved high-speed per­for­mance, sim­pli­fied land­ing gear, a nextgen­er­a­tion head-up dis­play (HUD), and hands-on-throt­tle-and-stick (HOTAS) con­trols.

Top: Boe­ing’s T-X in flight Above: Tex­tron’s Scor­pion tak­ing off

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.