Boeing T-X Headed Toward First Flight

By: Valerie Insinna, November 29, 2016

ORLANDO, Fla. — The Boeing-Saab T-X trainer is on track to fly by the end of the year after completing afterburner engine runs last week, Boeing officials said.

Only a few more major tests remain before the plane makes its inaugural flight, said program manager Ted Torgerson during a Nov. 23 interview ahead of the Interservice/Industry Training, Simulation and Education Conference (I/ITSEC).

“We are clicking off all of our test points, we have tested around somewhere around nearly 1,200 test points on the jet on ground tests,” he said.

The next test involves putting the plane, engine running, through the motions of a flight — takeoff, climb and landing — with the aircraft tied down to the runway, Torgerson said. The company will also check how the airplane responds to simulated system failures. After that, a Boeing-Saab board will clear the aircraft for flight, and the Federal Aviation Administration will certify it. Finally, the company will conduct low-, medium- and high-speed taxi tests before flying the jet.

“We’re looking to fly soon, before the year is over” Tom Conard, the company’s T-X capture team leader, reiterated during a Tuesday briefing at I/ITSEC. “And as we’re preparing that jet to fly, our flight crews are training in the training system devices to prepare them exactly what they’re going to see in the jet.”

A second Boeing T-X was revealed to the press during a September rollout ceremony shortly before it went through structural proof tests. The company is currently powering all of the systems on the airplane, will fuel the plane in a matter of weeks and plans to move quickly through tests for an early 2017 flight, Togerson said.

The Boeing-Saab team is competing against one other clean-sheet design, manufactured by Northrop Grumman. Two other teams are banking on less risky existing designs. Lockheed Martin has partnered with KAI to offer the T-50A, a version of the Korean company’s T-50 trainer. Raytheon joined with Leonardo and CAE on the T-100, which uses Alenia Aermacchi M-346 as the basis.

If all goes according to schedule, the Boeing-Saab plane will fly around the same time as the US Air Force issues its final request for proposals, which officials have targeted for a December release. The service has already put forward several draft request for proposals, which detail threshold requirements as well as objective requirements that could knock hundreds of millions of dollars off a company’s total evaluated price.

Boeing, for its part, has stressed that its clean-sheet design was tailored specifically for the threshold requirements, and officials have not detailed how close it can get to the objective.

« We’re going to meet all the requirements and growth provisions for the future,” Conard said. « It has no radar, it has no weapons, it is not doing anything except advanced fast jet training. »

Asked whether Boeing plans to incorporate such features for potential opportunities currently under discussion by the Air Force — such as an exercise of light-attack aircraft that could inform a program of record, or a proposal to hire industry to play the aggressor role in training exercises — Conard demurred.

“We’ll look at that after we win T-X,” he said. “We’ve got to win T-X, and then from there we will able to adapt and work in future variants. And I’ll leave it at that.”



Russia enters S. Korean tender with 5th-generation fighter

MOSCOW, July 25 (RIA Novosti)

Russia’s Sukhoi T-50 PAK-FA fifth-generation fighter has been placed on a short list of a South Korean tender for the delivery of advanced fighter jets, a Russian arms industry think-tank said on Monday.

Korea is seeking to buy 60 fighters with advanced stealth capability from a foreign aircraft maker in the biggest arms-procurement deal ever for the country with an estimated budget of $7.86 billion under a program code-named FX-III.

Russia’s Center for Analysis of World Arms Trade cited South Korean Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA) as saying that Sukhoi’s fighter would compete with the F-15SE Silent Eagle from Boeing, the F-35 Lightning II from Lockheed Martin and the Eurofighter Typhoon from the European Aeronautic Defense and Space Company (EADS).

The winner of the tender is expected to be announced in 2012, but the actual deliveries may start four years later.

The Sukhoi T-50 fighter is being developed by the Sukhoi design bureau and built at a plant in Komsomolsk-on-Amur, in Russia’s Far East.

The first prototype conducted its maiden flight in January 2010 and has so far carried out over 40 tests. Two more prototypes are at the various stages of testing. The Russian Air Force said it had plans to acquire over 60 T-50 fighters after 2015.

Although T-50 specifications remain classified, reports indicate that the design incorporates the latest fighter jet developments, including advanced stealth capability, supersonic cruising speed, and highly integrated control systems.

The T-50 offered to Seoul is most likely an export version of the aircraft being developed by Sukhoi and India’s Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd. (HAL) under a $6-billion joint project.

Experts believe, though, that Sukhoi and EADS have little chance of winning the tender as Korea’s alliance with the United States will be a decisive factor in the race.

MAKS 2011: le chasseur de 5e génération ne sera visible qu’en vol

20:26 05/08/2011

Le chasseur russe de cinquième génération T-50 effectuera plusieurs vols de démonstration lors du Salon aérospatial de Moscou MAKS 2011, mais ne sera pas présenté au sol, a annoncé vendredi un porte-parole du Salon à RIA Novosti.

« Le public ne verra cet avion que dans le ciel. Pour des raisons de sécurité, il ne sera pas exposé au sol », a déclaré l’interlocuteur de l’agence.

Selon ses dires, cet appareil furtif constituera le clou du Salon qui se déroulera du 16 au 21 août.

Le chasseur russe de cinquième génération Sukhoï T-50 doit équiper les forces aériennes russes à partir de 2016. Ses trois prototypes procèdent actuellement à des essais en vol.

MOSCOU, 5 août- RIA Novosti

S Korea to export T-50 supersonic jets to Indonesia

SEOUL, May 26 (Xinhua) — South Korea has struck a multi- million-dollar deal to export T-50 supersonic trainer jets to Indonesia, state-run aircraft company Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI) said Thursday.

The deal to sell 16 supersonic jets worth 400 million U.S. dollars to Indonesia was signed in Jakarta Wednesday, the first time for South Korea to export its T-50 Golden Eagles, jointly produced by the KAI and U.S. defense firm Lockheed Martin, officials at the KAI said.

« I believe the cooperative atmosphere currently building up between South Korea and Indonesia in various sectors, including the economic (sector), was fundamental to (winning the contract), » said KAI president Kim Hong-kyung.

The jet maker was named a preferred bidder in April, as Jakarta sought to replace its old Hawk Mk-53 trainer jets.

South Korea has pledged to deliver the 16 jets in 2013, within 18 months after the contract takes effect, Kim added.