01 November 2007 - Hallbergmoos – The first Eurofighter Typhoon loaded with Tranche 2 avionics took to the air today at BAE Systems’ Warton facility. Instrumented Production Aircraft Six (IPA6) completed its maiden flight under the control of Mark Bowman, Eurofighter Typhoon test pilot at BAE Systems. IPA6 at Warton will be used for Tranche 2 flight test. It’s first prominent task will be to accomplish Type Acceptance for Block 8, the first capability standard of the second Tranche Eurofighter Typhoon, in April 2008.
While IPA6 (BS031) is essentially a Tranche 1 standard aircraft, it uses the full Tranche 2 mission computer suite and avionics features. IPA7 (GS029) is the first aircraft that represents the full Tranche 2 build standard. The first flight of IPA7 is expected before the end of 2007 at the Manching site of EADS, Germany.
The first Tranche 2 EJ200 engine had already flown on IPA2 in Italy on 14 September. This test aircraft, operated by Alenia, will undertake the necessary evaluation and certification work for this new EJ200 version.
The significant Tranche 2 features focus mainly on the new mission computers which deliver the higher processing and memory capacity required for the integration of future weapons such as Meteor, Storm Shadow and Taurus. Differences in the build standard to Tranche 1 are related to changes in production technology or obsolescence.
The Eurofighter consortium will deliver 251 aircraft, 91 to the United Kingdom, 79 to Germany (including 15 aircraft originally contracted by Austria), 47 to Italy and 34 to Spain. The original Tranche 2 production contract was signed 14 December 2004. Deliveries of Tranche 2 Eurofighter Typhoons to all four Partner Nations will begin in Summer 2008 and are scheduled to run until 2013. 18 aircraft are already in final assembly at the partner companies Alenia Aeronautica, BAE Systems, EADS CASA and EADS Deutschland.
Source: Eurofighter Typhoon
Picture provided and copyrighted by Eurofighter Typhoon
For further information about Eurofighter Typhoon, click here