Boeing Achieves Major Flight Testing Milestone on First Wedgetail
Boeing Achieves Major Flight
Testing Milestone on First Wedgetail Aircraft
Saint-Louis, Missouri -- (Boeing)
July 5, 2005 -- Boeing [NYSE: BA] successfully completed the aircraft
performance and flight handling test program with the first 737 airborne early
warning and control (AEW&C) aircraft for Australia’s Project Wedgetail.
“The plane performed superbly in terms of its avionics,
structure, systems, flight handling characteristics and performance,” said
Patrick Gill, Boeing vice president of 737 AEW&C programs. “This milestone
validates the aircraft’s digital design, and wind tunnel and simulator analyses.
It is a major step forward in providing this powerful, new capability to
The aircraft exceeded all specification requirements for
altitude, speed and endurance. It logged more than 245 flights and more than 500
flight hours. Takeoff performance, flight handling and simulated air to air
refueling testing were conducted at Edwards Air Force Base, Calif. Engine
nacelle and engine component cooling were tested in Mesa, Ariz. Additional tests
included icing and crosswinds.
Flight testing of the airborne early warning and control
mission system, including the MESA radar, is scheduled for later this year.
Australia has purchased six aircraft for its Wedgetail fleet.
Delivery of the first two aircraft currently being modified in Seattle, Wash.,
is scheduled for 2006, with the other four aircraft delivered by 2008. Turkey
has purchased four of the aircraft for its Peace Eagle program.
The 737 series is one of the most popular and reliable jet
aircraft in the world and that has resulted in a worldwide base of suppliers,
parts and support equipment. The 737 AEW&C is designed to provide airborne
battle management capability with 10 state-of-the-art mission system consoles.
It continues more than 30 years of Boeing tradition in airborne surveillance and
command and control with the 707 and 767 AWACS fleets. Currently the aircraft
are operated by the United States, NATO, the United Kingdom, France, Japan and
Northrop Grumman’s Multi-role Electronically Scanned Array
(MESA) radar is the critical sensor aboard the 737 AEW&C. The MESA array is
designed to provide optimal performance in range, tracking, and accuracy. The
radar is able to track airborne and maritime targets simultaneously and can help
the mission crew direct the control of high-performance fighter aircraft while
continuously scanning the operational area.
A unit of The Boeing Company, Boeing Integrated Defense
Systems is one of the world’s largest space and defense businesses.
Headquartered in St. Louis, Boeing Integrated Defense Systems is a $30.5 billion
business. It provides network-centric system solutions to its global military,
government, and commercial customers. It is a leading provider of intelligence,
surveillance and reconnaissance systems; the world’s largest military aircraft
manufacturer; the world’s largest satellite manufacturer and a leading provider
of space-based communications; the primary systems integrator for U.S. missile
defense; NASA’s largest contractor; and a global leader in sustainment solutions
and launch services.
Boeing Air Force Systems, (253) 657-3046
In Australia: Ken Morton, (2)