ORLANDO (Oct. 20, 2009) – Hawker Beechcraft Corporation (HBC) today provided an update on the successful progress of its Beechcraft AT-6 light attack aircraft program. The AT-6 is a structurally strengthened derivative of the highly successful T-6A/B/C – the world’s most proven military trainer aircraft. Development flight testing of the first AT-6 demonstrator aircraft continues at a rapid pace, with preliminary flight envelope investigations and initial integration of an EO/IR sensor completed. In addition, the production of a second AT-6 demonstrator aircraft is moving forward at the company’s headquarters in Wichita, Kan.
“The AT-6 is a U.S.-made solution designed to meet training, light attack and armed reconnaissance needs for irregular warfare and building partner capacity initiatives,” said Jim Maslowski, president, U.S. and International Government Business for HBC. “Like our contribution to Project Liberty, we are listening carefully to the warfighter and, together with our partners at Lockheed Martin, we are creating high-end capabilities in a low-cost, low-risk aircraft.”
The AT-6 is designed to be able to quickly transition pilots between basic flight training missions and complex NetCentric light attack and armed reconnaissance missions. The aircraft will offer the U.S. Air Force and partner nations a robust airpower solution that meets a wide spectrum of needs at a fraction of the cost of other platforms.
The focus of the first AT-6 aircraft is integration of mission systems in conjunction with HBC’s partner, Lockheed Martin Systems Integration-Owego. The aircraft is scheduled to complete aerodynamic handling quality and flight envelope expansion tests by late this year, with additional mission system integration and testing to follow. The primary objective of the second prototype aircraft is integration of the new, higher horsepower PT-6A-68/10 engine for improved performance, with initial flight testing to begin in the spring of 2010.
The HBC T-6 trainer fleet recently passed the one million flight hour mark and 550th delivery with aircraft currently being flown by the U.S. Air Force, U.S. Navy, Hellenic Air Force of Greece, NATO Flying Training in Canada and the Israeli Air Force. T-6 trainers for the Iraqi Air Force are currently in production in Wichita and are slated for delivery to Iraq beginning later this year. The Royal Moroccan Air Force recently ordered 24 T-6C aircraft, and the U.S. Navy recently started receiving T-6B aircraft to replace the Beechcraft T-34 as its primary trainer.
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.