THE FIRST FLIGHT of Saab's re-engine SK60 jet trainer has been deferred by around two months because of compatibility problems with the engine and airframe.

The first aircraft to have its Turbomeca Aubisque turbojets replaced by the Williams-Rolls FJ44-1C is now undergoing ground test engine runs.

Hakan Borjesson, the project manager at Saab Military Aircraft, says that "...the aircraft is close to its first flight now", adding that "some minor technical issues" have had to be overcome.

Saab is confident that it will deliver the first re-engine aircraft to the Swedish air force in the first half of 1996, with deliveries of a total of 115 re-engine aircraft being completed by the middle of 1998. The air force now has 140 SK60s on its inventory.

Source: Flight International