Scorpion Jet Program Makes Progress

Light attack aircraft shows promising performance numbers.

Scorpion Jet

Scorpion Jet

** Scorpion Jet**

Textron AirLand LLC is making good progress on its Scorpion tactical jet project. After more than 50 hours of flight-testing, the light attack airplane has shown promising performance numbers and the pilots describe the airplane as nimble and agile with plenty of power yet stable in the landing configuration.

The test pilots have brought the Scorpion as high as 30,000 feet to speeds up to 430 knots true airspeed. G forces of +3.7 G and -0.5 G have been imposed on the airframe and the stall speed has been shown to be below 90 knots calibrated airspeed. In addition, the test pilots have done engine shutdowns and restarts in flight and have demonstrated a low-speed aircraft interception with a Cessna 182, which can be seen in the accompanying video.

The program has progressed quickly due to the incorporation of proven systems, such as the flight control system, which is based on the hydraulic system from Cessna’s speedy Citation X business jet. The avionics systems are also non-developmental. “We routinely make software updates to the avionics system in days, not months,” said Dale Tutt, chief engineer for the Scorpion.

The Scorpion first flew on December 12. Textron AirLand expects to complete 300 to 400 test hours on the Scorpion this year, including some international test flights.

See the video of the recent mock airborne intercept test flight here.

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