Completion of Phase 1 Testing!
The final sortie of Phase 1 testing had three objectives. First was to complete the 10 hour FAA Phase 1 requirement to allow unrestricted flight of the test aircraft in anticipation for Phase 2. Second was to evaluate the formation handling characteristics of the aircraft equipped with the MX-15 and 4 pylons. Third was to obtain engineering and promotional photos from the chase aircraft. Chief Pilot Mike Carter briefed and led the formation in the test aircraft, while Assistant Chief Pilot Cary Venden flew in the #2/chase position.
The test aircraft again flew well, and formation position and station keeping were just as in a standard Tucano. The test aircraft accelerated slower due to the drag of the MX-15, and maximum speeds were approximately 5-7 KIAS lower than the standard aircraft. The test aircraft is now ready for Phase 2 testing with an operable MX-15 sensor.