Scorpion Hits Test Milestones

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 Maiden Flight.)