WICHITA, Kan. The first production-conforming Scorpion multi-mission, twin-engine military jet from Textron AirLand LLC, a Textron Inc. (NYSE:TXT) company, took its maiden flight following a weapons capability exercise on the prototype tactical aircraft completed in October. The Scorpion jet is a military aircraft designed to excel in roles ranging from intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) to close air support and armed reconnaissance.
For its first flight, the aircraft took off from McConnell Air Force Base in Wichita, Kansas, and conducted a range of maneuvers during the flight, which lasted one hour and 42 minutes. Experimental test pilots Don Parker and Dave Sitz flew the Scorpion Jet and verified the performance of the avionics, aerodynamics, and several other aircraft systems.
The Scorpion jet takes its maiden flight. (Photo: Business Wire)
The latest version of the Scorpion incorporates a number of improvements based on target customer feedback, as well as results from the extensive flight test program. The program has accumulated more than 800 flight hours in both test and real-world operational settings.
Garmin in Olathe, Kansas, provides avionics for the enhanced Scorpion. The avionics platform is based on the advanced G3000 integrated flight deck and is optimized for rigorous military operations. The newly configured G3000 avionics system includes a large, high-definition (HD) display complemented by two HD touchscreen controllers and provides more mission capability in the forward cockpit position, additional navigation capability in the rear cockpit position, and overall weight savings for improved performance as a multi-mission aircraft.
Changes to the airframe include four degrees of sweep to the wings, an enhanced aft horizontal stabilizer for improved high-speed performance, a simplified landing gear design, a next-generation Heads Up Display (HUD), and hands-on throttle and stick (HOTAS) controls.
The first production-conforming Scorpion will start a robust flight test program, working closely with the United States Air Force on the first of its kind airworthiness assessment of a non-Department of Defense (DOD) military aircraft design.
Textron AirLand’s Scorpion jet company-funded program progressed from concept to first flight in 23 months and was designed to capture the synergy between commercial aircraft production practices and advanced mission system technologies. In over two years of flight operations, the Scorpion has deployed to 10 countries, participated in military training exercises and operations, flown numerous U.S. and international military pilots, and amassed more than 800 flight hours. The Scorpion is versatile in terms of mission flexibility with its center payload bay, six hard points, high dash speeds, and extended endurance and loiter time at cruise speeds.
Textron AirLand has developed, in the Scorpion, a highly affordable and exportable twin-engine ISR/Strike/Trainer jet for the tactical military aviation market. A versatile jet platform based on commercial best practices and proven high technologies, Scorpion is designed as a multi-mission aircraft for diverse battlefield, security and training missions.
Textron Inc. is a multi-industry company that leverages its global network of aircraft, defense, industrial, and finance businesses to provide customers with solutions and services. Textron is known around the world for its brands, such as Bell Helicopter, Cessna, Beechcraft, Hawker, Jacobsen, Kautex, Lycoming, E-Z-GO, Greenlee, Bad Boy Off Road, Textron Systems, and TRU Simulation + Training.
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