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Busy Year Ahead for the Four National Eurofighter Typhoon Team

Busy Year Ahead for the Four National Eurofighter Typhoon Team

 Eurofighter Typhoon Flight Test Programme in Final Stages. Source: Eurofighter Germany, February 20, 2006.

A busy year lies ahead for the four national Eurofighter Typhoon team, as the programme has entered the final stages of the main development with more than two thirds of the flight test programme achieved so far. The testing of the air-to-air carefree handling Flight Control System software is almost finished, the last clearances for the so called Phase 4 software, necessary for the Block 2B standard aircraft will be finalized over summer.

October 26 2005: The Eurofighter Typhoon aircraft - One from the German Air Force; one Italian Air Force Typhoon and another from the Royal Air Force; joined one Instrumented Production Aircraft (IPA3) in formation over Vienna.

October 26 2005: The Eurofighter Typhoon aircraft - One from the German Air Force; one Italian Air Force Typhoon and another from the Royal Air Force; joined one Instrumented Production Aircraft (IPA3) in formation over Vienna. Photo: EADS-D.

Photo: EADS-D

A new chapter in Eurofighter Typhoon’s development has now been entered with testing of the air-to-ground Flight Control Software. This FCS Phase 5 software, written by a Joint Team headed by EADS Military Air Systems in Germany, will over the next months undergo rigorous testing in all four partner nations and will involve six aircraft for testing and validating the data required for the required clearances.

Development Aircraft DA2 in the UK will be conducting carefree handling tests, low speed flying, asymmetrical loads in spring 2006. This aircraft has been picked for these challenging tests, as it is the only test aircraft to be flown with an anti-spin gantry to prevent the aircraft from departure in extreme flight maneuvers.

DA3 at Alenia Finmeccanica in Italy will do performance testing in respect to lift and drag, but also will jettison air-to-ground weapons in summer.

Instrumented Production Aircraft IPA1 at BAE Systems in Warton will focus on the clearances for the Paveway II and will concentrate on flutter and vibration flight testing, envelope expansion and jettison of Paveway II, starting end of February.

IPA3 undergoing wing load test with 4 x Paveway II bombs and external fuel tanks, at EADS’ Manching facility. EADS-D Photo, 20 February 2006.

IPA3 undergoing wing load test with 4 x Paveway II bombs and external fuel tanks

 IPA3 undergoing wing load test with 4 x Paveway II bombs and external fuel tanks, at EADS’ Manching facility. EADS-D Photo, 20 February 2006.

EADS-D Photos

IPA3 at EADS Military Air Systems in Manching, Germany, will be used for under wing load tests with the full air-to-air weaponry load plus up to four Paveway II and external fuel tanks. Taxi tests will start end February, some three flights are planned, also in asymmetrical configurations.

IPA4 in Spain at EADS CASA is the aircraft focusing on the GBU-16 clearances. Having concluded electro-magnetic compatibility (EMC) tests with the GBU-16 laser guided bomb, IPA4 will be used for flutter and vibration testing, pit drops and actual separation of GBU-16 including basic handling tests throughout the summer of 2006.

Test Pilot C Worning and German Air Force Pilot B Tantarn climbing out of IPA 3 cockpit after display at Manching, Germany.

Test Pilot C Worning and German Air Force Pilot B Tantarn climbing out of IPA 3 cockpit after display at Manching, Germany.  EADS-D Photo.

 EADS-D Photo

IPA5, again at BAE Systems, is set for carefree handling, low altitude and transonic testing.

After conclusion of the tests, the final clearances for the Full Operational Capability (FOC) specified with the Main Development Contract are expected in 2007 and then will be available in Block 5 aircraft. The first Block 5 aircraft is already in final assembly in Germany. Deliveries of Block 5 aircraft will start early 2007.

Alongside with the Phase 5 software tests, the FOC avionics functionality is now undergoing flight test, the second major area in the Eurofighter Typhoon flight test programme. Rig tests were concluded already end last year and a clearance for flight testing has been received from the NATO Eurofighter and Tornado Management Agency (NETMA) in December 2005. Main focus will be the testing of the new Eurofighter Typhoon pilot helmet.

For more information, please contact:

  • Wolfdietrich Hoeveler, Vice President Communication , Eurofighter GmbH, +49 811 801 555 (Office) -- +49 170 855 0474 (Mobile).
  • Mark Ritson : Head of Public Relations, Eurofighter GmbH, +49 811 801 931(Office) -- +49 172 893 2147 (Mobile).

               


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Directeur de la publication : Joël-François Dumont
Comité de rédaction : Jacques de Lestapis, Hugues Dumont, François de Vries (Bruxelles), Hans-Ulrich Helfer (Suisse), Michael Hellerforth (Allemagne).
Comité militaire : VAE Guy Labouérie (†), GAA François Mermet (2S), CF Patrice Théry (Asie).

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