Boeing is celebrating the early maiden flight of its Boeing F/A-18-variant EA-18G Growler airborne electronic attack (AEA) aircraft, one month ahead of schedule.

The aircraft (EA-1, pictured below) flew from Lambert airport in St Louis, Missouri on Tuesday. Boeing F/A-18 programme chief test pilot Ricardo Traven and chief weapons system operator Rick Junkin were at the controls.

EA-1 is the first of two test aircraft built under a System Development and Demonstration (SDD) contract Boeing signed with the US Navy on in December 2003.  “This is a day we’ve been working toward since 2003,” said Bob Feldmann, vice president, Boeing F/A-18 programmes. The aircraft will fly to Naval Air Station Patuxent River later this year.

Growler flying
© Boeing