New indigenous trainer jet conducts first test flight in Taichung

06/10/2020 02:25 PM
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Photo courtesy of the Ministry of National Defense
Photo courtesy of the Ministry of National Defense

Taichung, June 10 (CNA) The first test flight of Taiwan's new indigenous advanced jet trainer (AJT) was conducted in Taichung on Wednesday when a prototype of the trainer flew for around 20 minutes.

The AJT, named Yung Yin (勇鷹) or "Brave Eagle," took off from Ching Chuan Kang Air Base around 9 a.m. accompanied by two IDF fighter jets and kept its landing gear down the entire flight before landing successfully.

The first-ever test flight of the ATJ drew a crowd of aviation enthusiasts outside the airbase eager to get a first look at the Brave Eagle in the air.

Wednesday's test was the first of three days of tests being conducted by the Air Force before an official test flight is held on June 22 at the air base.

The Air Force has previously said the AJT has already cleared the required pre-flight dynamic and static tests, enabling the test flight to be conducted sometime later this month.

Su Tzu-yun (蘇紫雲), a research fellow at the military-affiliated Institute for National Defense and Security Research, previously told CNA that military flight tests are normally completed within 20 minutes, and serve to collect data and information needed to calibrate the system and make improvements.

The ATJ project was initiated in 2017 to replace the military's decades-old AT-3 trainer aircraft and F-5E/F lead-in fighter trainers, and a prototype of the jet was first unveiled publicly in September 2019.

According to the military, it will take delivery of 66 AJTs by 2026 as part of the country's efforts to become more self-reliant militarily.

(By Su Mu-chuan and Joseph Yeh)

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