Lockheed Martin Completes Initial Flight Tests of Fifth Generation Pilot Training Aircraft

By Juliet Van Wagenen | June 2, 2016
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Lockheed Martin T-50A jet trainer takes flight in T-X competition
Lockheed Martin T-50A jet trainer takes flight in T-X competition. Photo: Lockheed Martin

[Avionics Today 06-02-2016] Lockheed Martin completed the initial flight test of its T-50A configured aircraft, the company’s aircraft offering in the U.S. Air Force’s Advanced Pilot Training competition. Developed jointly by Lockheed Martin and Korea Aerospace Industries, the T-50A aims to deliver the performance and capabilities needed to prepare pilots to fly fifth generation fighter aircraft.

“The aircraft in its new configuration with the fifth generation cockpit and other upgrades performed flawlessly,” said Mark Ward, Lockheed Martin T-50A lead test pilot, after his flight in Sacheon, South Korea. “I have no doubt this aircraft will close the gap which currently exists between the trainer fleet and fifth generation fighters.”

The T-50A, which Lockheed Martin says is low risk and ready now, builds on the company’s T-50, of which 100 models are already flying. Lockheed Martin says the T-50A is the only current offering that meets all Advanced Pilot Training (APT) requirements.

Lockheed Martin is currently standing up its T-50A Final Assembly and Checkout site in Greenville, South Carolina. The accompanying T-50A Ground-Based Training System (GBTS) features technologies that aim to deliver a synchronized ground-based training platform.

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