Apr 10, 2013 by Richard Tomkins (UPI)
Wichita, Kan - A new light attack and intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance aircraft under development by Textron AirLand LLC has completed 50 hours of flight testing.
The jet-powered Scorpion is 43.6 feet long, has a maximum speed of 513 miles per hour and a service ceiling of 45,000 feet. It was first flown last December.
Flight testing so far has gathered data about Scorpion's performance at different speeds and altitudes and the responsiveness of its avionics, flight controls and landing system.
"The aircraft systems have performed well within the expected parameters, with very few issues," said Scorpion's chief engineer, Dale Tutt. "This is a significant benefit of using mature, non-developmental systems: In addition to reducing the overall development time of the prototype aircraft, the systems have proven to be very reliable."
Textron AirLand said Scorpion testing this year encompasses 300-400 test hours, which will require about 150 flights. Included will be international flights.
Textron AirLand is a joint venture between Textron Inc. and AirLand Enterprises LLC.