THE US NAVY, AlliedSignal and McDonnell Douglas (MDC) are looking at ways to continue flight tests of the F124-powered MDC T-45A Goshawk following a successful 90min initial sortie on 7 October.

The aircraft was flown from MDC's St Louis, Missouri, factory by T-45A test pilot Gary Jennings, who says: "The engine was precise and crisp and this power plant allowed the T-45 to keep its position in formation flight." The aircraft reached a maximum altitude of 25,000ft (7,600m) during the flight, and engine handling was demonstrated over a full range of power settings.

AlliedSignal, which builds the F124 in association with Taiwan's Aero Industrial Development under the joint International Turbine Engine banner, says that the engine "-successfully passed minimum/maximum throttle slam and 'bodie' tests to demonstrate surge-free engine operation at altitude". A "bodie" describes a large throttle movement back and forth, but not one which moves from stop to stop.

The flight tests were part of ITEC's continuing efforts to find new applications for the 28kN (6,200lb)-thrust F124 turbofan which is in development for the Czech Aero L-159. The MDC/AlliedSignal team had offered the F124-powered T-45A for the Royal Australian Air Force lead-in fighter/trainer competition, but this was recently rejected by the Australians.

AlliedSignal says that, together with the USN and MDC, "-we are considering several options for the continuation of the flight-test programme. Nothing is determined right now."

Source: Flight International