The prototype L 159 Advanced Light Combat Aircraft with a Boeing-designed avionics suite made its first flight Aug. 18 at the Aero Vodochody airport near Prague in the Czech Republic.
During the 28-minute flight, piloted by Aero Vodochody chief test pilot Miroslav Schutzner, the single-turbofan aircraft performed positive 6 G and negative 1 G maneuvers, with the aircraft, engine and systems performing as expected.
Boeing is the avionics integration subcontractor to Aero Vodochody, the aircraft prime contractor, for L 159 avionics equipment which includes crew station, communication, navigation and weapons management systems. Under a five-year contract awarded in 1997, Boeing will deliver 72 integrated avionics kits to Aero Vodochody. The first production delivery will occur in November 1998 and continue through 2002.
The advanced avionics suite includes a head-up display, multi-function displays, up-front control panel, embedded Global Positioning System/Inertial Navigation System with radar altimeter, stores management system, air data computer, data transfer system, Ultra-High/Very High Frequency transceivers and Identification Friend or Foe system.
Boeing will also provide post-production avionics support for the aircraft.
The Czech air force is scheduled to take delivery of the first five L 159 aircraft in 1999.
In addition to its role as integration subcontractor for the L 159, Boeing has formed a joint venture with CSA Czech Airlines that has been authorized to become a 35 percent stakeholder in Aero Vodochody.
Boeing, through its Aerospace Support business unit, is a leader in avionics upgrades for military aircraft. Boeing is upgrading more than 500 U.S. Air Force T-38 training aircraft with a comprehensive avionics package to provide a reliable, cost-effective training environment similar to current and future generation fighter/bombers. In July, the first T-38C Talon aircraft made its first flight at Williams Gateway Airport in Mesa, Ariz.