Scorpion Prototype Demonstrates GA Intercept Capability
Textron AirLand, LLC, a joint venture between Textron and AirLand Enterprises, LLC, announced that its prototype Scorpion has completed 50 hours of flight time since the start of flight testing in December 2013, including a recent demonstration of low-speed handling in formation with a Cessna 182. After the need for an affordable combat airplane for low-threat missions and prolonged operations became apparent during the Libya air war of 2011, the Scorpion was developed. With a projected cruising speed of up to 450 knots, payload of 3,000 pounds, and internal stores as well as external precision guided missiles, the straight-wing jet is targeted at the homeland security as well as Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) markets.
The objectives of flight tests to date have included data gathering on performance and handling. Thus far, the Scorpion has been flown as fast as 450 knots and to an altitude of 30,000 feet. It has also demonstrated a stall speed of less than 90 knots, the ability to climb on one engine and “nimble” handling, including a 120-knot formation with a Cessna 182 to show its ability to intercept and fly with general aviation airplanes. The flight control systems are powered by dual hydraulic systems based on the Cessna Citation X. Textron AirLand said that the testing program is on a pace that will allow it to complete 300-400 flight test hours, or about 150 flights this year.