FARNBOROUGH, U.K. (July 19, 2010) – Hawker Beechcraft Corporation (HBC) has surpassed a number of significant milestones in its development of the Beechcraft AT-6 Light Attack and Armed Reconnaissance aircraft. The AT-6 is on display at the Farnborough International Airshow in the United Kingdom. The first of two production representative test vehicles (PRTV) involved in the AT-6 test program, the aircraft on display has completed more than 100 flights and logged nearly 200 hours since its first flight in July 2009. The second PRTV aircraft, which is equipped with a more powerful, 1600 shaft horsepower (shp) PT-6A-68D engine and an optimized Hartzell propeller, has accumulated more than 50 hours.
“We are extremely pleased with the progress and capabilities of the AT-6,” said Jim Maslowski, HBC president, U.S. and International Government Business. “The two PRTV aircraft have already demonstrated remarkable performance in flight test and, in the case of the first prototype, in a variety of combat scenarios designed to demonstrate its utility in the light attack armed reconnaissance role. The AT-6 can ably carry out numerous combat mission sets at a mere fraction of the cost of traditional aircraft.”
Flight testing of the second PRTV is ongoing – supporting an overall test strategy to clear the engine and flight envelope for the first PRTV avionics testbed. Later this month, the second aircraft will be modified and fitted with aerodynamic shapes designed to simulate the external modifications and weight changes associated with Aircraft Survivability Equipment, which will then be later installed on the first aircraft. Once the first aircraft PRTV returns from the United Kingdom following the Farnborough Airshow, it will also be re-engined with the 1600 shp PT-6A-68D and modified to integrate the Gentex Scorpion Helmet Mounted Cueing System. The first PRTV is being configured to respond to anticipated USAF requirements, while the second PRTV is being fitted with appropriate avionics and equipment to meet the demand for potential future Foreign Military Sales.
The AT-6 draws its heritage from the highly successful United States Air Force (USAF) and United States Navy (USN) T-6A/B trainer – the world’s most proven military trainer aircraft. HBC flew the AT-6 in its present avionics configuration after only nine months by working with leading defense companies to integrate the aircraft with advanced technologies. Borrowing heavily from technologies it recently integrated into the Air Force’s A-10C Thunderbolt II aircraft, Lockheed Martin integrated into the AT-6 a new mission computer controlled by A-10/F-16 based hands-on-throttle-and-stick controls, fully integrated L3 WESCAM optical and infrared sensors that also serve as a sophisticated targeting pod with advanced laser capabilities, data links to communicate with ground and airborne forces, anti-jam and secure communications and full motion video transmission capability. The aircraft is equipped with the same CMC Esterline primary flight avionics and navigation system found in the USN T-6B and Moroccan T-6C.
Hawker Beechcraft Corporation is a world-leading manufacturer of business, special mission and trainer aircraft – designing, marketing and supporting aviation products and services for businesses, governments and individuals worldwide. The company’s headquarters and major facilities are located in Wichita, Kan., with operations in Salina, Kan.; Little Rock, Ark.; Chester, England, U.K.; and Chihuahua, Mexico. The company leads the industry with a global network of more than 100 factory-owned and authorized service centers. For more information, visit www.hawkerbeechcraft.com.