Jan 4, 2009
Alenia Aermacchi's M-346 "Master" advanced jet/lead-in fighter trainer has made its first supersonic flight, reaching Mach 1.15 (675kt/1,250km/h) at 45,000ft (13,700m) during an 18 December test flight. Achieved using the programme's first of two prototypes during a 75min sortie from Alenia Aermacchi's Venegono airfield near Milan, the milestone will be followed by further flights intended to demonstrate the M-346's maximum speed of M1.2. Alenia Aermacchi chief test pilot, Quirino Bucci says the fly-by-wire aircraft "showed excellent controllability as it exceeded the speed of the sound, and maintained its pleasant handling throughout the deceleration phase." Jan 2, 2009
The Italian air force has moved a step closer to the delayed introduction to service of its new KC-767A tanker/transports, with Boeing having demonstrated the type's ability to receive fuel from another aircraft. Conducted from Boeing's...