WICHITA, Kan.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Textron AirLand, LLC and Beechcraft Defense Company, both Textron Inc.(NYSE: TXT) companies, recently hosted student pilots from the U.S. Air Force Test Pilot School at TextronAviation’s Wichita, Kansas facilities to evaluate capabilities of the Scorpion ISR/strike jet and Beechcraft AT-6 light attack aircraft as part of the school’s Capstone Project.
The Textron AirLand Scorpion ISR/strike jet and Beechcraft AT-6 light attack aircraft fly in formation with the USAF’s Beechcraft C-12 during one of several evaluation flights. (Photo: Business Wire)
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,” said Russ Bartlett , president, Beechcraft Defense Company. “The demonstrations not only allowed us to showcase the capabilities of the aircraft, but it also allowed us to gather feedback, which has already proven beneficial as we continue to prepare these aircraft for entry into the market.”
“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,” said Bill Anderson , president, Textron AirLand. 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.
Scorpion returned to Wichita on May 5th after completing its 10 day, 6,627 nm round-trip, international journey. During the trip, Scorpion completed 17 sorties, added 28.1 hours to the plane, and executed six demo flights (four on the first day) for a prospective Air Force customer. The flights achieved 100% mission availability and 100% mission accomplishment. Along the way, Scorpion participated in two static display events in Florida(SOUTHCOM in Miami and CENTCOM in Tampa) – also without the need for additional support aircraft or personnel.