The Israeli Air Force (IAF) has successfully conducted a Loss of Control In-Flight (LOC-I) test on the F-16 Fighting Falcon fighter aircraft.
The test was conducted by IAF's Flight Test Squadron and was aimed at developing new flight configurations to help the IAF’s operational squadrons carry out their missions more safely.
IAF Flight Test Squadron commander lieutenant colonel Shlomi said: “The Flight Test Squadron’s ability to analyse an operational requirement and provide a decisive answer when asked if a certain flight configuration is safe or dangerous is an ability that only the United States Air Force and we hold.
“Most countries don’t perform LOC-I tests on F-16 jets, and quite a few air forces test their flight configurations in other countries. In the world of flight tests, Israel requires independent and autonomous capabilities.
"There is no replacement for the response we provide in regard to time, cost, availability and precise adjustment.”
The IAF will also assess and develop new flight configurations to deal with the jet’s armament capabilities as part of the LOC-I tests.
The first test was performed to examine a new flight configuration for double-seat 'Barak' (F-16C / D) jets, IAF stated.
Additionally, the squadron is set to begin LOC-I tests on the 'Sufa' (F-16I) jet in order to re-confirm flight configurations that were previously approved.
The trials will be carried out by a flight test engineer and test pilot, who will build a test plan consisting of flight scenarios and safety protocols, as well as analyse the dangers in potential situations faced by the system.
IAF test engineer captain Dorin noted that loss of control in-flight can occur in any activity involving sharp manoeuvres; the aircraft drops downwards vertically and becomes incapacitated upon losing control.