Textron has announced that Cessna Aircraft Scorpion Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR)/Strike aircraft has conducted its maiden flight on Dec 12.
The aircraft took off from McConnell Air Force Base in Wichita, Kansas and flew for 1.4 hours, conducting a series of handling maneuvers that proved the aircraft features an “impressive stability and responsiveness closely matching all of the predicted parameters for today’s maneuvers – it’s going to be a highly capable aircraft for the ISR and homeland security mission set.”
On its first flight the “affordable warplane for low-threat missions” was crewed by pilot Dan Hinson, a test pilot with over 5,000 flight hours in 79 different types of aircraft, and co-pilot David Sitz.
Announced in September and developed in 24 months, the Scorpion has a cruising speed of up to 450 knots, a ferry range of 2,400 NM (nautical miles) and carries a payload of 3,000 lbs internal stores as well as underwing PGMs (Precision Guided Munitions).
Image credit: Textron
After the images appeared on the Chinese Internet few hours after the aircraft had landed, a video showing the China’s second J-20 stealth fighter prototype performing its first flight at Chengdu on May 16, 2012 has just been uploaded to Youtube.
Soundtrack aside, the video is enjoyable as it gives the opportunity to see the fifth generation plane during the taxi, (quite short) take off roll and landing phases of its maiden flight.
After a series of high-speed taxi tests with the nosewheel off the ground and subsequent use of the drag chute, here are the first images published on the Chinese forums showing the second J-20 stealth fighter prototype performing its first flight at Chengdu.
Image credit: http://club.mil.news.sina.com.cn/
On May 14, 2012, the second prototype of the J-20 Mighty Dragon, serialled “2002”, performed a high-speed taxi at Chengdu.
Once again the images of the first flight were immediately available on the Chinese Internet and the news of the second prototype’s first flight spread across the world.
However, according to some sources, the aircraft did not take off: it performed a high-speed taxi, raised the nose and then deployed the drag chute to reduce speed. It’s a particular kind of test Chinese have performed with the first prototype too.
As explained in an article published few days ago the aircraft coded “2002″ has a slightly different nose section than the first prototype, coded “2001″.
Image credit: Chinese Internet /HobbyShangai
On Jan. 16, 2009, the long awaited Boeing B787 Dreamliner completed a maiden flight that represents the first step towards the official delivery to All Nippon Airways, the first airline, destined to receive the brand new aircraft in late 2010. The aircraft, with registration N787BA, was airborne for 3 of the planned 5 hours, as it was compelled to return earlier than expected as a consequence of the bad weather interesting Washington State and Everett’s Paine Field. The first flight, aimed to evaluate the plane’s main systems before conducting more in-depth tests. The maiden flight consisted of circuits between Whidbey Island and Port Angeles. The Dreamliner, the first commercial plane to be built with a plastic fuselage and an all-electric system, will be able to carry 250 passengers on long haul flights.
There’s also something coming from Italy on the Dreamliner: Alenia Aeronautica, a Finmeccanica company, participates in the Boeing 787 Dreamliner programme, which is currently the most advanced initiative in the civil aviation field, has designed, developed and manufactured not only all the structural components of the aircraft under its responsibility (the central and central-rear fuselage sections and the horizontal tail unit), but has also implemented the infrastructure and defined the processes necessary for their production, thereby taking its own know-how in the field of composites to the most advanced levels of technological leadership. Giovanni Bertolone, Chief Executive Officer of Alenia Aeronautica, said: “The maiden flight of the 787 Dreamliner has a particular significance for our company, which has made a strong commitment to the 787 and invested heavily in the programme from the start. Production in Italy for the 787 programme benefits from – and will continue to benefit from – the integration of the competencies and activities of Alenia Aeronautica’s centres of excellence in the country: in particular, the Pomigliano d’Arco (Campania) site for design, laboratory testing and the specialised production of certain primary structure components; the Grottaglie-Monteiasi (Puglia) site for the production of fuselage sections and the Foggia site for the production of horizontal stabilisers”.
Click on the following images to get the hi-rez version of the pictures (courtesy of Alenia Aeronautica).