A few days to reverse the U.S. ended the next step test promising light attack aircraft Scorpion, made by Textron AirLand. In January and early February spetsy development company tested the various systems and gathered the information needed to improve the upcoming new aircraft. Tests run on February 13.
According to test pilot D. Hinson, in the process carried out test flights were excellent results. The purpose of the test was to check the previous mechanical and electrical systems of the aircraft. In addition, testers were able to estimate its general properties and effectiveness. Test flights were conducted at the U.S. Air Force in Wichita.
Already presently known sample of Textron AirLand plans for the next project work Scorpion. Until the end of this year meant to spend a few hundred test flights during which the work will be checked various onboard systems and flying characteristics of the first prototype. Please complete the finishing means all aircraft systems and flight characteristics of aircraft brought to the required level. In the coming spetsy will work on clarifying and testing complex weapons.
Scorpion project is still in the testing stage of the first prototype, but at the moment is a certain enthusiasm for military professionals and aviation enthusiasts. First, it is worth noting the «origin» of the new gunship. The joint venture was created Textron AirLand 2 large aircraft building organizations: Textron and AirLand Enterprises. In the first part, namely, includes companies such as Cessna and Bell, who have extensive experience in the development of aircraft, including combat. First, in 2012 the two companies signed a contract for the development of the joint venture.
The first, and perhaps not the last project of Textron AirLand became strike aircraft Scorpion, in the early stages of development bore the title SCV12-1. The «Scorpion» was initiated to develop a new light attack aircraft, capable of doing different combat tasks associated with the detection and liquidation of ground targets. Wanting to win a place at the current international market of combat aircraft, the company Textron AirLand decided to intrigue prospective buyers the economic side of the project. Thus, one of the main advantages of Scorpion aircraft was supposed to be comparable to the lowest price exploitation. According to reports, this option does not exceed 3-4 thousand U.S. dollars per flight hour. For comparison, the flight hour fighter-bombers, F-16 costs about 20 thousand dollars.
Fascinating feature of the project was the Scorpion approach to advertising. Prior to illumine the past year of the existence of the project known only persons associated with its development. The general public found out about it until September 16, when the construction of the first prototype is already coming to an end. Soon after the «premiere» began tests of the first prototype.
Some known methods of lowering the price of the aircraft and the prices of its operation. To reduce the cost of construction and ease of maintenance on the plane Scorpion are widely used components and assemblies taken from other companies’ projects from the Textron. For example, in a power plant on the new attack aircraft used two turbojet engine Honeywell TF731 with a thrust of 1800 kg, which is also equipped with some commercial planes. In addition, some parts of the airframe must be made of composite materials for long mastered technologies.
Despite the relative simplicity, the promising attack aircraft must have quite the highest fighting properties. Scorpion will be able to carry and use up to 1,400 kg of different weapons at 6 knots outer suspension. Reported availability of domestic gruzootsekah with the possibility of suspension such as load, but it will be used to accommodate special equipment. Clear armament applicable for use until named. Apparently, the range of weapons will be a regular for light attack: unguided bombs and svobodnopadayuschie also various control instrument. The specific composition of weapons available for use, is likely to be determined by the customer.
The specificity of the tasks, and specifically the need for detection and destruction of ground targets, as a technical impact on the aircraft. Assault Scorpion made by conventional aerodynamic configuration with a small high-wing sweep. The aft fuselage and stabilizers are placed two keels. Aft fuselage has the appropriate contours caused by certain features Position 2-engines. The forward fuselage has a double cabin with tandem crew. Enclosed common lantern.
Plane with the highest take-off mass above 9.6 tonnes must reach a speed of less than 820-830 km / h, have a practical ceiling on the level of 13.7 km and a ferry range of 4,400 km. It is easy to see that the alleged flight data are consistent with puzzles that have to do «Scorpio.» Airspeed less than 830 km / h will allow him to go fast compared to the desired area, but for all this to maintain an acceptable level of fuel consumption. In addition, the wing will allow direct attack aircraft to fly at low speeds comparable practically hanging over the battlefield. Fuel supplies will enable as needed to patrol the area for a certain time.
Now light attack aircraft Scorpion looks interesting and promising. Declared properties and combat abilities can intrigue a wide range of potential customers. The company seems to Textron AirLand unable to fulfill its promise to make «the most affordable tactical aircraft.» Yet, it is too early to draw conclusions. Tests of the new gunship will last at least until the end of this year, and only after their completion can be read with confidence about the prospects of the aircraft.
According to reports, already at this point attack Scorpion intrigued prospective buyers. Software company claims that the current negotiations are underway with 2 zabugornom countries who can buy a certain number of new aircraft. Who exactly is involved in the negotiations, not yet reported.
Available data on the promising attack aircraft «Scorpion» allow to imagine that major customers will be small scale and poor countries in need of updating its own air force, but limited abilities in cash. In addition, the aircraft may be interested in big countries. So, the plane can be fascinating Scorpion State Guard and U.S. Coast Guard. This was announced last Air Force commander of the State Guard P. Weaver. But do not forget that in the current time Weaver operates one of the curators of applets Scorpion, which is why his statements look versatile.
If you believe the company Textron AirLand, then most recently negotiating the supply of stormtroopers Scorpion can end the contract signing. In the meantime, the South American aircraft manufacturers continue to improve its latest development. Until the end of this year meant to spend a few hundred test flights and finish to bring a number of fundamental systems. Only then will be able to begin preparation for mass construction of new aircraft.