Military Review

Stormtrooper Textron AirLand Scorpion. Completed the next phase of testing

A few days ago, the US completed the next stage of testing a promising lightweight Scorpion strike aircraft, created by Textron AirLand. In January and the first half of February, the developers of the development company checked the work of various systems and collected the information necessary for the further development of the new aircraft. The tests ended on February 13.

According to test pilot D. Hinson, good test results were obtained during test flights. The purpose of the test was to check the mechanical and electronic systems of the aircraft. In addition, testers were able to evaluate its overall performance and effectiveness. Test flights were conducted at the US Air Force base in Wichita.

The approximate plans of Textron AirLand for further work under the Scorpion project are already known. Until the end of this year, several hundred test flights are expected to take place, during which the operation of various on-board systems and flight characteristics of the first prototype will be checked. First of all, it is supposed to complete the adjustment of all onboard systems and bring the flight characteristics of the aircraft to the required level. In the future, experts will be engaged in the refinement and testing of weapons.

The Scorpion project is still in the testing phase of the first prototype, but now it is of some interest to the military, specialists and amateurs aviation. First of all, it is necessary to note the "origin" of the new attack aircraft. The Textron AirLand joint venture was created by two large aircraft manufacturing organizations: Textron and AirLand Enterprises. The first, in particular, includes companies such as Cessna and Bell, which have extensive experience in the creation of aircraft, including military. In early 2012, two companies signed an agreement on the creation of a joint venture.

The first and perhaps not the last project of Textron AirLand was the Scorpion strike aircraft, which was called SCV12-1 in the early stages of development. The Scorpion project was launched with the goal of developing a new light attack aircraft capable of performing various combat missions related to the detection and destruction of ground targets. Wanting to win a place in the current international market of combat aircraft, Textron AirLand decided to interest potential buyers in the economic side of the project. So, one of the main advantages of the Scorpion aircraft was to become a relatively low cost of operation. According to reports, this parameter will not exceed 3-4 thousand US dollars per flying hour. For comparison, the flight hour of F-16 fighter-bombers costs about 20 thousand dollars.

An interesting feature of the project Scorpion has become an approach to advertising. Until the autumn of last year, only persons associated with its development knew about the existence of the project. The general public found out about it only on September 16, when the construction of the first prototype had already come to an end. Shortly after the "premiere" began testing the first prototype.

There are some known methods of reducing the price of the aircraft and the cost of its operation. To reduce the cost of construction and simplify maintenance in the Scorpion aircraft, components and assemblies taken from other projects of Textron companies are widely used. For example, two turbojet engines Honeywell TF731 with a weight of 1800 kgf, with which some commercial aircraft are also equipped, are used as a power plant on a new attack aircraft. In addition, part of the parts of the airframe should be made of composite materials according to long-established technologies.

Despite comparative simplicity, a promising strike aircraft must have sufficiently high combat characteristics. Scorpion can carry and use up to 1400 kg of various weapons on the six nodes of the external suspension. It is stated that there is an internal cargo compartment with the possibility of suspension of the same load, but it will be used to accommodate special equipment. The exact composition of weapons suitable for use has not yet been named. Apparently, the nomenclature of armaments will be typical for light attack aircraft: unguided and free-falling bombs, as well as various guided weapon. The specific composition of weapons available for use is likely to be determined by the customer.

The specificity of the tasks performed, namely the need to detect and destroy ground targets, affected the technical appearance of the aircraft. The Scorpion attack plane is made according to the normal aerodynamic configuration with a high swept wing. In the rear fuselage are stabilizers and two keels. The tail part of the fuselage has characteristic contours, due to some features of the installation of two engines. In the forward fuselage there is a double cabin with a tandem arrangement of the crew. The cabin is closed by a common lantern.

An aircraft with a maximum take-off weight of over 9,6 tons must reach a speed of no more than 820-830 km / h, have a practical ceiling at the level of 13,7 km and a distillation range of about 4400 kilometers. It is easy to notice that the declared flight data fully correspond to the tasks that the Scorpion will have to perform. The flight speed of no more than 830 km / h will allow it to reach the required area relatively quickly, but at the same time maintain an acceptable level of fuel consumption. In addition, the straight wing will allow the attack aircraft to fly at relatively low speeds, literally hanging over the battlefield. The stock of fuel will make it possible, if necessary, to patrol a given area for some time.

At the moment, lightweight Scorpion strike aircraft looks interesting and promising. The stated characteristics and combat capabilities may be of interest to a wide range of potential customers. It seems that Textron AirLand was able to fulfill its promise and create "the most affordable tactical aircraft." Nevertheless, it is too early to draw conclusions. Tests of the new attack aircraft will last at least until the end of this year, and only after their completion will it be possible to speak with confidence about the prospects of the aircraft.

According to reports, already now the Scorpion attack aircraft interested potential buyers. The development company claims that negotiations are underway with two foreign countries, which may acquire a number of new aircraft. Who exactly is involved in the negotiations, has not yet been reported.

The available data on the prospective strike aircraft Scorpio suggest that the main customers will be small and not rich countries that need to upgrade their air force, but limited in financial capabilities. In addition, large countries may be interested in aircraft. So, the Scorpion aircraft may be of interest to the National Guard and the US Coast Guard. This was stated by former commander of the Air Force National Guard P. Weaver. However, one should not forget that currently Weaver is working as one of the curators of the Scorpion program, which makes his statements ambiguous.

If you believe the company Textron AirLand, then as soon as possible negotiations on the supply of attack aircraft Scorpion can be completed by signing a contract. In the meantime, American aircraft manufacturers continue to improve their new development. Until the end of this year, it is planned to conduct several hundred test flights and complete the refinement of a number of important systems. Only then can begin the preparation for the serial construction of new aircraft.

On the materials of the sites:
Dear reader, to leave comments on the publication, you must sign in.
  1. tronin.maxim
    tronin.maxim 20 February 2014 07: 46
    Nice bomber jacket. I think if they competently bring it to mind, then he will be a serious competitor in the global arms market. Something similar to our rooks.
    1. Vladimirets
      Vladimirets 20 February 2014 09: 01
      Quote: tronin.maxim
      Something similar to our rooks.

      The same concept, and many say that the time of the Su-25 is gone.
    2. Papakiko
      Papakiko 20 February 2014 09: 27
      Quote: tronin.maxim
      Something similar to our rooks.

      Not at all. The appearance from the "warthog" has budded.
      But in general it is perceived as "I blinded you from what was ....". Blind from the remains of Fu-18 and the whole heap of UAVs.
      And at the end of the laurels, obviously, the Yak-130 laurels do not give rest.
      1. Ingvar 72
        Ingvar 72 20 February 2014 10: 37
        Quote: Papakiko
        And at the end of the laurels, obviously, the Yak-130 laurels do not give rest.

        I also noted this. hi
      2. vladsolo56
        vladsolo56 20 February 2014 11: 40
        however, in my opinion it is a little bigger and heavier than the Rook and the same Yak.
      3. boom_bah
        boom_bah 20 February 2014 13: 00
        Well, he is far from Su-25, especially to the Yak-130, and their tasks are completely different. A normal inexpensive light drummer, small countries will certainly buy, he will definitely occupy his own niche.
    3. Alez
      Alez 20 February 2014 12: 51
      And where is the armor, armored capsule, protection of important elements? If none of this exists, this attack aircraft can be shot down with conventional small arms.
      1. postman
        postman 20 February 2014 13: 08
        Quote: Alez
        can be shot down with conventional small arms.

        1. try (at least) to get from a rifle to a flying crow (or automatic telephone exchange at a speed of 180 km / h)
        2. Now the same thing at a speed of 500km / h
        CHANCE = 0
        3.All-Composite glider and structure, modular design.
        ABOUT NO booking (composite) - NO ONE AND WRITTEN.
        This is a BATTLE attack field battlefield.
        The design of the aircraft is well aligned with the requirements and objectives of the National Guard (such as irregular warfare, border patrols, naval surveillance, emergency assistance, drug control and air defense operations).
        1. Kir
          Kir 21 February 2014 03: 09
          So suffice it to say that composites based on Par-Aramid are not so rare, so you say armor.
    4. Civil
      Civil 21 February 2014 10: 17
      Great for fighting rebels, Bendera, etc.
  2. Internal combustion engine
    Internal combustion engine 20 February 2014 08: 58
    A miserable semblance of a rook. With a Kalashnikov machine gun it will be possible to bring down this miracle. Of course, if you get into an unarmored cockpit.
    1. ruslan207
      ruslan207 20 February 2014 09: 48
      ICE-delirium try to hit a wise guy its speed is not 200 km / h at the time the USSR also led the development of such a stormtrooper even tried to convert the Yak 50 into a light attack aircraft in Afghanistan
    2. ruslan207
      ruslan207 20 February 2014 09: 48
      ICE-delirium try to hit a wise guy its speed is not 200 km / h at the time the USSR also led the development of such a stormtrooper even tried to convert the Yak 50 into a light attack aircraft in Afghanistan
  3. Alexey Prikazchikov
    Alexey Prikazchikov 20 February 2014 09: 45
    A good machine for small, poor armies is that. In conjunction with cheap flu and inexpensive mid-altitude UAVs, what the doctor ordered.
  4. Jedi
    Jedi 20 February 2014 11: 50
    beautiful of course ... but to be honest boar is much better. by the way, and a rook ... that would be three thousand rooks with us ... but I dreamed, sorry ...
  5. Nayhas
    Nayhas 20 February 2014 11: 56
    Absolutely unpromising idea and a waste of money. Do not go to a fortuneteller, no one will buy this craft. He would be unmanned, then yes, and so complete crap ...
    1. postman
      postman 20 February 2014 13: 11
      Quote: Nayhas
      Would he be unmanned

      It is fully modular.
      On request can be performed, in the form of a drone. There are no obstacles.
      Sharpened by the secret tasks of the National Guard
      1. Nayhas
        Nayhas 20 February 2014 18: 36
        Quote: Postman
        It is fully modular.
        On request can be performed, in the form of a drone. There are no obstacles.
        Sharpened by the secret tasks of the National Guard

        Well tady oh ... We’ll see ...
        1. postman
          postman 20 February 2014 18: 46
          Quote: Nayhas
          . We will see ...

          through the target tracking radar and the optoelectronic complex with a long-wave infrared direction finder (Shell-C1)?
  6. polkovnik manuch
    polkovnik manuch 20 February 2014 12: 54
    Nice, good review, and most importantly, high test rates are high, i.e. what we are so lacking. Such news does not please me.
  7. inkass_98
    inkass_98 20 February 2014 12: 59
    That is, a purely export vehicle, like the F-5, will keep a few of them, and again they can add an "aggressor" to the squadron, since there are similarities with our machines.
  8. samoletil18
    samoletil18 20 February 2014 14: 27
    Rook, not Rook. The pace of the test! that’s where there is cause for disappointment.
  9. Jedi
    Jedi 20 February 2014 16: 40
    Quote: Nayhas
    He would be unmanned, then yes, and so complete crap ...

    absolutely agree. the future, and the present, is for combat drones ... if someone disagrees with this - this is their misfortune ... as Stalin said: if the facts are against us, the worse for the facts
  10. dmitrij.blyuz
    dmitrij.blyuz 20 February 2014 17: 27
    Yes, let him fly. It seems to be a normal car.
  11. marshes
    marshes 20 February 2014 18: 43
    Adilbek Ryskeldinovich, buy a couple of dozen of these aircraft, no matter how, you can reduce the US debt to Kazakhstan. smile
    Of course Tsesny, they’ll do the same, but we don’t have enough expensive attack planes or attack aircraft.
  12. tchoni
    tchoni 20 February 2014 20: 50
    The impression is that it is a light multi-purpose aircraft, which can, if desired, be used as a light attack aircraft or the basis for a cheap strike drone, designed for several sorties. It makes no sense to compare it with a rook or a koi mongrel, by definition, brick aircraft for the battlefield. And it is not at all necessary to equate with the Yak-130 which, according to the main profession of UTI, can imitate the flight regimes of various types of aircraft, and it will be thrown into battle only from descent.
  13. orsker
    orsker 20 February 2014 21: 14
    Why are all their planes so scary ?!
  14. kplayer
    kplayer 20 February 2014 21: 32
    The Yak-130 is faster and also unarmored (TCB is the main function).
    The whole joke of a light attack aircraft is the cheapness of use and maintenance, and it is possible to use it from field airfields with short runways, it’s clearly impossible to replace the strike capabilities of the A-10 with its 7t combat load, two stations (bow and stern) of an optical-electronic surveillance system, says and about the reconnaissance functionality of the aircraft (including the provision of information in real time), air defense tasks were mentioned, i.e. in addition, the task is to intercept enemy reconnaissance UAVs and low-flying light-engine aircraft (such as Cessna), which is relevant in the fight against the drug business (100% will be bought by a number of countries in Central and South America), but there is no built-in gun. Air refueling system - ???
    The massive use of the attack aircraft is clearly not expected (conflicts of "low" and "medium" intensity).
  15. lpd1
    lpd1 21 February 2014 05: 39
    Quote: kplayer
    on strike capabilities of the A-10 with its 7t combat load

    About the capabilities of the A-10 have already written smile
  16. 1c-inform-city
    1c-inform-city 21 February 2014 13: 54
    Quote: Jedi
    beautiful of course ... but to be honest boar is much better. by the way, and a rook ... that would be three thousand rooks with us ... but I dreamed, sorry ...
    Well, the A-10 states also have about 160 left, with 18 lost in Afghanistan right at the base. The Taliban came and burned.
  17. kplayer
    kplayer 21 February 2014 16: 27
    Quote: lpd1
    About the capabilities of the A-10 have already written smile

    "In a dispute, truth is born" - about comments. The article itself is a blank (possibly unrealized) of Soviet propaganda, it's funny to read about the powder gases that enter the air intakes of combat (!) Aircraft (not only A-10).