Military Aviation

LOCKHEED MARTIN T-50A FLIES ITS 100th SORTIE

Lockheed Martin’s T-50A (TX-2) recently achieved a major milestone reaching the 100 flight mark in Greenville, South Carolina

Lockheed Martin T-50A recently achieved a new milestone as the aircraft flew its 100th sortie at the Greenville, South Carolina, facility.

This flight continues to demonstrate the company’s low-risk, Ready Now approach to the Advanced Pilot Training (APT) competition Lockheed Martin said in a news release.

Noteworthy flight operations began at the Greenville site in November 2016 as the team worked toward a March 2017 proposal deadline and submission of the required flight test data at the end of June.

“We’ve met the U.S. Air Force flight test requirements for the proposal, however our flight operations team continues to produce a regular rhythm of sorties to keep the pilots proficient, the aircraft operational and ensure we’re prepared to ramp up operations on day one of a decision,” said Doug Batista, T-50A program director.

“This particular flight in TX-2, included simulated air-to-air engagements, simulated air-to-surface attacks, and instrument proficiency training,” explained Elliott “Hemo” Clemence, Lockheed Martin test pilot.

In February 2016, Lockheed Martin announced its plans to offer the T-50A in the APT competition and build the aircraft at a final assembly and checkout (FACO) facility in Greenville. The company formally unveiled its T-50A FACO and operations center in August 2016.

The T-50A is purpose-built around 5th Generation thinking. In fact the aircraft will be able to train the F-22 Raptor and F-35 Lightning II pilots of tomorrow, as well as pilots for frontline 4th Generation aircraft. The T-50A builds upon the proven heritage of the T-50 family of aircraft with more than 150 T-50s flying today – 150,000 flight hours and counting – and more than 2,000 pilots who have trained in this aircraft.

Lockheed Martin’s accompanying T-50A Ground-Based Training System features innovative technologies that deliver an immersive, synchronized ground-based training platform.

The company disclosed in March that it can deliver its T-50A to meet the U.S. Air Force’s T-X project two years ahead of schedule: T-50A deliveries to USAF could start by 2022, ahead of the 2024 initial operational capability (IOC) requested by the service for the T-X competition.

Photo credit: Lockheed Martin

Dario Leone

Dario Leone is an aviation, defense and military writer. He is the Founder and Editor of “The Aviation Geek Club” one of the world’s most read military aviation blogs. His writing has appeared in The National Interest and other news media. He has reported from Europe and flown Super Puma and Cougar helicopters with the Swiss Air Force.

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