[Avionics Today March 5, 2014] The Boeing
Maritime Surveillance Aircraft (MSA) demonstrator completed its first flight, proving airworthiness.
MSA flight test aircraft. Photo, courtesy of Boeing.
Field Aviation, a Canadian aircraft modification company, conducted the flight-testing for Boeing. A Bombardier Challenger 604's aircraft structures and systems were modified into the MSA configuration to complete the four-hour test flight from Toronto's Pearson International Airport.
"The aerodynamic performance was right on the money and even with the additional aerodynamic shapes, such as the radome, the demonstrator performed like a normal aircraft. The control and handling were excellent," said Craig Tylski, pilot for field aviation.
Boeing is developing the MSA as a modified Challenger 605 business jet that incorporates multi-mission surveillance technologies from the P-8A Poseidon, including Active Electronically Scanned Array multi-mode radar, an Electro/Optical/Infrared sensor, Electronic Support Measures, a Communications Intelligence sensor and Automated Identification System.
Over the next two months more airworthiness flights will be carried out prior to the aircraft flying into Boeing's Seattle facility to install mission systems for testing.