Analysts do not believe, will find whether your company Textron AirLand (a joint venture between Textron and AirLand Enterprises) light tactical aircraft Scorpion niche in the market, now writes flightglobal.com.
Frame this plane is designed for the U.S. Air Force, but analysts range that it can be put into service. Views on military aircraft analyst Center for Strategic and budget estimates Ganzingera Mark (Mark Gunzinger), this function will perform better aircraft drones.
According to the developers, the new aircraft is designed for use in local conflicts, protecting the borders, the maritime patrol, assist in unavoidable situations, counter-narcotics, providing defense and increase the power of the Air Force of the partner countries. Motivated by the market are State Guard U.S. Air Force and partner countries that can not afford for themselves cool combat aircraft such as the F-35.
Textron CEO Scott Donnelly (Scott Donnelly) states that «Scorpion» is some hybrid, able to do tasks as reconnaissance and light attack functions. «This plane was designed so as we have seen a very large gap between the skills on the one hand, modern fighters and, on the other hand, single-engine turboprop aircraft,» he said. In his view, the acquisition of «Scorpion» will be cheaper than upgrading combat aircraft such as the A-10 attack aircraft or F-16 fighters, in addition, the cost will be much lower than that of at least some existing military aircraft.
Surprisingly, the «Scorpion» can claim to be the new training aircraft for the U.S. Air Force TX program there, but Donnelly said that such a goal is not assigned. But if the purpose of creation will be delivered CF, it can be resettled one engine and swept wing.
Historically, that the U.S. Air Force and other advanced countries avoid getting aircraft such class, says analyst Richard Aboulafia Teal Group (Richard Aboulafia). It is very unclear, that the U.S. Air Force bought these planes even in the midst of 2-Middle East wars to fight the rebels. Yet, experts suspect that Textron, creating the plane already had in mind some future buyers. «I’m not sure that the company began to create a plane, with no customers. I just do not know who can purchase this plane, «he said.
Usually the only tough market for aircraft such class are the UAE. «Scorpion» has a tunable internal compartment which can be profiled to accommodate instruments or sensors or additional fuel but the airplane will not be fighting equipment as onboard radar or opto-electronic camera. Compartment has a capacity to accommodate payload of 1362 kg in internal tanks can hold 9,000 pounds of fuel. The airplane has six underwing suspension units for weapons or fuel tanks of a total weight of 6200 pounds. The biggest take-off weight will be 21,250 pounds, range 2,400 nautical miles (4440 km).
Donnelly said that the aircraft propulsion consists of 2-Honeywell TFE731 turbofan engines with a total thrust of about 8,000 pounds (35.6 kN). As expected, the first flight will be completed by the end of this year. If a customer is found, the aircraft can go to mass production in 2015.