Textron AirLand’s Scorpion light attack,
intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance aircraft has completed 50 flight
hours since flight testing began in December 2013, states a release
from the firm. Recent tests garnered a raft of data on the airframe’s
performance at various speeds, altitudes, and climb rates, as well as the
responsiveness of the jet’s avionics and flight controls. The jet topped out at
.72 Mach, and pilots report the aircraft is agile and features plenty of power
and good low speed characteristics. “The
aircraft systems have performed well within the expected parameters, with very
few issues,” said Scorpion’s chief engineer Dale Tutt. “This is a
significant benefit of using mature, non-developmental systems.” The
flight control systems are powered by dual hydraulic systems based on the
Citation X business jet, and also have performed well to-date, states the
release. The Scorpion testing program is on track to complete 300-400 test hours
this year, or about 150 flights. The program also is expected to include
international test flights, pending approvals. (See also Scorpion’s
Russian bombers, four times in four days, flew close to Alaska in another series of provocations.
The Air Force Thunderbirds demonstration team and
France’s Patrouille de France fly together over Death Valley, Calif., on
April 17, 2017.
The Syrian regime has dispersed its combat aircraft
and retained some chemical weapons following the US Tomahawk strike
earlier this month that aimed to deter future use of the weapons.
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