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July 27, 2016

Second T-50A aircraft completes first test flight for USAF’s APT competition

The second upgraded T-50A aircraft, which is intended for use in the US Air Force's (USAF) advanced pilot training (APT) competition, has successfully completed its initial test flight.

By Srivari Aishwarya

The second upgraded T-50A aircraft, which is intended for use in the US Air Force's (USAF) advanced pilot training (APT) competition, has successfully completed its initial test flight.

The tests on the aircraft were conducted in Sacheon, South Korea.

The maiden flight of the second aircraft comes on the heels of the test flight of the first upgraded T-50A in June this year.

Developed jointly by Lockheed Martin and Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI), T-50A will replace the T-38, and train the next-generation of pilots to fly fifth-generation aircraft.

Lockheed Martin T-50A programme manager Doug Batista said: “We now have two aircraft in flight test proving our upgrade, and we’re nearing completion of our assembly and training operations centre in Greenville, South Carolina.

“We’re on track to provide the US Air Force with a production line and training capability on day one of contract award.”

The T-50A aircraft has been configured based on South Korea’s FA-50, which is currently in production.

The FA-50 is fitted with air-to-air and air-to-ground weapons, along with an avionics suite that contains an electronic warfare suite, a multi-mode radar and an advanced data-link, Lockheed said in a statement.

Lockheed's T-50A Ground-Based Training System features technologies that deliver an immersive, synchronised ground-based training platform.

"We’re on track to provide the US Air Force with a production line and training capability on day one of contract award."

The T-50A meets all APT requirements and can deliver those capabilities on schedule at the lowest risk to the customer.

The legacy T-50 aircraft has trained more than 1,000 pilots and achieved 100,000 flight hours.

Currently, more than 100 T-50s are in operation.


Image: T-50A aircraft completes initial test flight in Sacheon, South Korea. Photo: courtesy of Lockheed Martin Corporation.

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