Textron AirLand's new Scorpion jet.
(Photo courtesy Textron)
Textron AirLand's first production-conforming Scorpion jet has performed its maiden flight, verifying its avionics and aerodynamic performance.
The multirole, twin-engine aircraft flight took off from McConnell Air Force Base in Wichita, Kan., and flew for 1 hour and 42 minutes, the company announced, and is set to begin a flight test program, which will involve the U.S. Air Force.
"This program milestone closely follows the recent successful weapons capability exercise on the prototype Scorpion completed in early October," Textron AirLand said. "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 production variant of the Scorpion features avionics by Garmin, which is based on the advanced G3000 integrated flight deck and which is optimized for military operations. The newly configured G3000 avionics system has a large, high-definition display and two high-definition touch-screen controllers.
The system provides more mission capability in the forward cockpit position and additional navigation capability in the rear cockpit position of the aircraft.
Changes to the airframe of the aircraft include an additional four degrees of sweep to the wings and an enhanced aft horizontal stabilizer for improved high-speed performance.
A prototype Scorpion has been demonstrated in 10 countries as part of the company's self-funded development program.
(Richard Thomkins - UPI)