Lockheed Martin has delivered the first wing ship set for the T-50 Golden Eagle supersonic advanced jet trainer to Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI) as the partners prepare to roll out the aircraft for October's Seoul air show.

General Electric has meanwhile handed over the first F404 powerplant and the initial Messier Dowty-built landing gear is due to arrive at KAI's Sachon factory in early July, according to T-50 programme director Charles Smith.

KAI is prime contractor on the Golden Eagle programme while Lockheed Martin is responsible for the aircraft's avionics, flight control system and wing and the provision of technical support. The maiden flight is set for June 2002.

A decision by South Korea on launching series production is due in October 2003. The Korean air force has committed to take 94 aircraft, of which half will be the T-50 fighter lead-in trainer and the rest the A-50 light combat version. Delivery of the first production standard T-50 is set for October.

Source: Flight International