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Posts Tagged Test flight

European Drone Dassault nEUROn UCAV MAIDEN FLIGHT

 
The news was broken this morning (December 1, 2012) thanks to this tweet:


 
Dassault-Aviation released the news a few minutes later:




 
The stealth drone demonstrator “nEUROn” designed by Dassault Aviation, performed her maiden flight this morning at Istres Dassault Flight Test Center.

Dassault along with DGA – French Defense Procurement Agency, and nEUROn customer – successfully conducted this first flight test of the European UCAV (Unmanned Combat Air Vehicle).

The nEUROn project FCAS (Future European fighter Combat Air System) , launched in 2005, involves France, Italy, Sweden, Spain, Greece and Switzerland. Some parts or elements of this aircraft – flight controls maybe – would come from the Dassault Falcon 7X.

 
A longer video from Dassault:

 

Here is a photograph which was shot by Xavier Cotton in June 2007:

nEUROn Drone - June 2007 © Xavier Cotton

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Could RAFALE benefit from F-35 glitches?

 

JSF F-35 Lightning II

F-35 Lightning II

The British Harriers were to be replaced by the F-35Cs. Do you remember? You may have learnt from the recent news that the carrier variant of the Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Joint Strike Fighter – CV JSF (Carrier Vessel variant’s Joint Strike Fighter) – F-35C was unable to catch the wire onboard the aircraft carrier during the latest landing tests.

Strange as it may seem, the F-35C’s designers may have not forecast what would unfold during a test flight while landing on an aircraft carrier:

The arresting hook (tailhook) never engaged the arresting wire as the clearance between the tail hook and the main landing gear’s tyre tread is too short for such a speed. An F-35C Lightning II missing her carrier landing has been reported even though some U.S. officials would have dismissed such information which might result from simulated tests.

Added to that is a software bug which had grounded the CV JSF for 6 days a few month earlier for the fifth-generation fighter aircraft might have encountered wing-folding input while flying!

As a result, the British Ministry of Defence might find a Plan-B solution as these design flaws, and some others which date back to November 2011 are deemed unacceptable for such an expensive fighter aircraft – $139.5 million for the F-35C (CATOBAR – Catapult Assisted Take Off But Arrested Recovery), and $150 million for the F-35B (STOVL – Short Take-Off and Vertical Landing). The latter can land on carriers but she is more expensive, and the JSF program costs have already increased several times.

 

Moreover, the JSF would not be able to fire AMRAAM air-to-air missiles as reported in this video:

 

 

RAFALE La Ferté Alais 2010 - © Xavier Cotton http://passiondesavions.blogspot.com/

RAFALE La Ferté Alais 2010 © Xavier Cotton http://passiondesavions.blogspot.com/

And there’s even more: according to a Pentagon study team report, 13 areas of concern that remained to be addressed in the F-35 would have been identified. For instance, the Helmet Mounted Display System (HMDS) would not work properly…

The British MoD is therefore considering the purchase of either F/A-18E Super Hornets or RAFALEs for the RAF. The French Dassault which has already lost the Swiss NAC tender due to replace the Swiss Air Force’s F-5s, would be proposing a new offer with 18 RAFALEs at a cost deemed lower than the 22 SAAB Gripens’ one according to the Swiss press.

The RAFALE is still in competition with the Eurofighter in the Indian MMRCA tender. the Indian officials are expected to make a decision this week. To be continued… ==> We have just learnt (on January 31, 2012) that the RAFALE has won the MMRCA tender… :-)

 

Photo 1: © Recce 233 Savoie; Photo 2: © Xavier Cotton – http://passiondesavions.blogspot.com/

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Brand new drone in China

The V750 is a brand new unmanned helicopter designed by Qingdao Haili. It successfully completed its maiden flight in Shandong province three weeks ago.

This UAV has a load capacity of more than 77 kg. It can reach more than 160 km/h, and it can be remote-controlled from up to 153 kilometers away. The V750 drone could be used for ISR purpose. With a weight of 100 kg, it is deemed to be the largest drone in China as it could be as large as the American MQ-8 “Fire Scout”.

Watch the video (in Chinese):

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Sukhoi Su-35S multirole fighter first test flights

RIA NovostiSukhoi Su-35S Flanker-E multirole fighter aircraftRussia begins test flights of Su-35S series fighter

14:40 03/05/2011 Russia’s Sukhoi aircraft manufacturer has started test flights of its first series-produced Su-35S Flanker-E multirole fighter, the company said on Tuesday.>>

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Video – SAAB 35 DRAKEN tested as an interceptor

Austrian AF Draken - Saab J 35 - Photo © HoHun (2003)

The Swedish-made Saab 35 Draken was a second generation jet fighter. 644 of them were built. This fighter aircraft used to fly during the Cold War as early as 1955, and entered in service in 1960.

Maybe her particular double-delta shape was worth calling it “Draken” which means “kite”. She was more an air defense aircraft than a dogfighter aircraft.

She retired from the RDAF, the Royal Danish Air Force in 1993; from the SwAF, the Swedish Air Force in 1999; from the FIAF, the Finnish Air Force in 2000; and from the AAF, the Austrian Air Force in 2005.

Hereafter an interesting video featuring a Saab 29 Tunnan (Flying Barrel); a Saab 32 Lansen (Lance); and a Draken momentarily as an interceptor; with her rate of climb nearing 35,000ft/min, she could reach FL650 – more than 20 kilometres above the earth – to hit her target:

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Sukhoi PAK FA / T-50 closer views and comparisons

Future Airborne Complex – Frontline Aviation, Perspektivny aviatsionny kompleks frontovoy aviatsii

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