The first prototype of Aermacchi's M346 advanced/lead-in fighter trainer made a successful debut flight from the Italian company's Venegono airfield on 15 July, launching a flight test campaign that is expected to total more than 700 sorties. During its 1h flight, the aircraft demonstrated its short-field performance, digital flight-control software and high thrust-to-weight ratio, says Aermacchi chief experimental test pilot Olinto Cecconello. The M346 is being promoted to meet part of the proposed 12-nation Advanced European Jet Pilot Training, or Eurotraining, programme.

Source: Flight International