Five students and three instructors from the Test Pilot School spent a week in Wichita with teams from Textron AirLand and Beechcraft for the school’s project – to evaluate a new production/prototype aircraft with a set list of criteria. The student pilots participated in both classroom and cockpit ground training, as well as in preparatory and evaluation flights. A total of 19 flights were successfully completed in four days – 12 demos on the Scorpion and seven on the AT-6.
Scorpion completed three flights daily during the four day event – delivering 100% aircraft availability and 100% mission accomplishment. After each flight, Scorpion rapidly returned to the air, with an average aircraft turn time of 31 minutes, and a best turn time of 20 minutes. The AT-6 also turned in an excellent performance for its seven flights, with 100% aircraft availability and 100% mission accomplishment.
“We were pleased to offer the USAF Test Pilot School with two state-of-the-art defense aircraft in which to perform their project evaluations. The demonstrations not only allowed us to showcase the capabilities of the aircraft, but it also to gather feedback, as we continue to prepare these aircraft for entry into the market,” said Russ Bartlett, President, Beechcraft Defense Company.
“It was an honor to collaborate with the USAF Test Pilot School on the project, and our team also learned a lot by completing so many flights in such a short span. Soon after completing the event, Scorpion’s own test pilots were back in the aircraft, self-deploying from Wichita to South America for additional demo flights requested by a foreign Air Force,” said Bill Anderson, President, Textron AirLand.
Textron AirLand’s Scorpion™ Jet was introduced in 2013 and has completed several hundred hours of flight testing with an exceptionally high mission availability score. Scorpion is a highly affordable, multi-mission aircraft offering diverse capabilities including intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, humanitarian assistance, disaster relief, advanced training and precision strike. Aircraft features include twin-engine power, two-seat operation, large internal payload capacity, high-definition ISR cameras, wing-mounted weapons stations, modern avionics, all-composite structure and more.
The Beechcraft AT-6 is a multi-role, multi-mission aircraft system designed to meet the spectrum of needs for the light attack mission. Leveraging a range of highly-specialized, but off-the-shelf capabilities, the AT-6 is outfitted with state-of-the-art equipment such as Pratt and Whitney PT6A-68D engine, CMC Esterline’s mission modified Cockpit 4000, Lockheed Martin’s A-10C-based mission system and L-3 WESCAM’s MX-15Di sensor suite. The aircraft has successfully demonstrated high-end net-centric and light attack capabilities and is fully compatible with U.S. and NATO Joint Terminal Attack Controller systems.