Instrumented Production Aircraft Four (IPA4), fitted with
the Meteor missile, is prepared for flight at Morón
AB in Spain.
3/22/2007 - Hallbergmoos – The four Nation Eurofighter
Typhoon test fleet has achieved the 5,000th flying hour. The
milestone flight, piloted by Capt. Carlos Esteban Pinilla EADS
CASA Eurofighter test pilot on Monday 19 March at Morón,
saw IPA4 undertake environmental data gathering with a Meteor
With aircraft development work now centred on future capabilities,
the focus of the test fleet is about to change. The test fleet
will focus on testing and evaluation of new software to improve
the capability of sub-systems thus increasing the overall weapon
Five Development Aircraft (DA) have already completed their
contracted tasks. The last in-service DA, is DA7 which is continuing
to work alongside the five Instrumented Production Aircraft
(IPA) and Instrumented Series Production Aircraft One (ISPA1).
The focus for the Flight Test Programme is on completing the
Final Operational Capability standard to close the Main Development
Contract and finalising the work on the Infra-Red Search and
Track (IRST)/ Forward-Looking Infra-Red (FLIR), the new helmet
plus further air-to-ground testing. Also work on the integration
of a Laser Designator Pod (under contract for the Royal Air
Force) shall continue. Aerodynamic testing has already been
done by IPA3 at EADS Military Air Systems.
DA5 is in the process of being readied for first flights with
the CAESAR electronic scanning radar antenna, the enhanced radar
under development by the EURORADAR consortium as a potential
replacement for the CAPTOR radar. The flights will be conducted
at EADS Military Air Systems’ facility in Manching, Germany.
Additionally, two further test aircraft are in final assembly
and are scheduled to join the test fleet for clearance work
on Tranche 2. IPA6, at BAE Systems, is a Tranche 1 aircraft
with Tranche 2 avionics and new standards of hardware and software,
and will be used to clear the first Tranche 2 capability standard
(Block 8) into service. IPA7, a German single-seat aircraft,
is the first real Tranche 2 Eurofighter Typhoon and will be
operated by EADS Military Air Systems, at Manching.
The integration of advanced weapons is set to become a major
task with the continuation of testing of the new European Long
Range Air-To-Air Missile, Meteor. Developed by the MBDA Meteor
programme team, two test campaigns are to be conducted in March
and April following the release of funding from the customer.
The purpose of the two campaigns in Spain and Italy is to gather
environmental data for the final design of the missile. Five
Flights with IPA4 of EADS CASA began 15 March in Morón,
Spain, using the so-called Meteor Environmental Data Gathering
Missile and ended on 20 March. The aim was to fly Meteor on
front and rear fuselage stations in order to collect data on
how the missile responds in the vibration, load and temperature
A second campaign is planned for later in April in Italy, the
purpose of which is also environmental data gathering but, for
the first time, Meteor will fly on the outboard pylons of Eurofighter
Typhoon. The focus of these flights is to explore missile reactions
to flutter and vibration.
This second Meteor testing campaign is a risk reduction initiative
for the projected integration of Meteor into Eurofighter Typhoon.
After completion of these series of tests, Meteor will have
flown on all applicable stations on Eurofighter Typhoon, having
first flown on the aircraft in late 2005.
Source: Eurofighter Press Release