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
The Air Force will buy contractor logistics support for several legacy platforms to shift maintainers to the F-35 program, but that could work against the service in the long run, Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James said Friday.
To fill the ranks of F-35 maintainers, the Air Force
will draw 1,100 airmen from the A-10, F-16, and C-130 fleets, the
service said Friday.
The Air Force intends—once again—to divest itself of
the MQ-1 Predator and transition to an all-MQ-9 Reaper fleet of
medium-altitude remotely piloted aircraft, Lt. Gen. Mike Holmes said Friday.
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