March 5, 2014. David Pugliese - Defence Watch
News release from Field Aviation:
TORONTO, ONTARIO, March 5th, 2014 – Field Aviation, a Field Aerospace company, has successfully completed its first test flight of Boeing’s Maritime Surveillance Aircraft (MSA) demonstrator. The demonstrator is a Boeing owned Challenger 604 and is the prototype platform upon which Boeing will develop its MSA program based on the Bombardier Challenger 605.
Field Aviation, Boeing’s teammate on the MSA program has carried out modifications to the airframe and systems which include the design, manufacture and installation of provisions for Search Radar, retractable EO/IR camera, ESM, Comint and other communication systems.
Following the arrival of the aircraft at Field Aviation’s Toronto facility in early 2013, a baseline flight of the aircraft was carried out to acquire and benchmark flight and handling characteristics prior to any modifications being carried out.
The first post modification flight took place at Toronto Pearson International Airport (CYYZ) on Friday, February 28th. The nearly four hour flight was conducted to verify that the handling qualities of the aircraft had not been affected by the airframe modifications. Field Aviation test pilot Craig Tylski reported that there were no issues with aerodynamic performance throughout the envelope and the external shapes on the aircraft did not affect the handling or control of the aircraft whatsoever.
Following this first fight, the MSA demonstrator has been flown to a Boeing facility in Yuma, AZ, where Field Aviation will continue working towards completion of its flight test program, leading to FAA and Transport Canada certification. Upon flight test completion, Field Aviation will deliver the modified MSA demonstrator to Boeing in Seattle for integration of the MSA’s sensors and communications subsystems.
Field Aviation is internationally recognized for its uniquely engineered products and services including the modification of aircraft for special mission purposes. These capabilities have made Field Aviation a world leader in the adaptation of commercial aircraft for special mission roles. Special mission aircraft modified by Field Aviation are serving governments throughout the world providing a range of essential services.