Boeing has installed a unique sensor wing, designed to help test F-22 avionics, on its 757 Flying Test Bed.
The sensor wing gives Boeing the capability to test and integrate U. S. Air Force F-22 avionics in parallel with airframe testing currently under way at Edwards Air Force Base, Calif., and long before avionics testing occurs onboard an F-22 aircraft.
Installed on the crown of the modified 757 jet, the sensor wing was designed and built to simulate the same wing sweep and orientation as an F-22 wing. Additionally, communication, navigation and identification (CNI) sensors will be mounted directly on the wing to simulate sensor positioning on the F-22's wings.
Bob Barnes, Boeing F-22 program manager and vice president, said the sensor wing, together with the test bed, will play a crucial role in flight-testing the highly advanced integrated avionics system developed for the F-22 fighter.
"Our test bed will help reduce avionics development costs by enabling extensive in-flight testing, evaluation and troubleshooting before much of the avionics are ever installed on the F-22," Barnes said.
The test avionics will be operated from a simulated F-22 cockpit, which has been installed in the test bed cabin. The cockpit has primary and secondary F-22 displays, as well as the throttle and stick. Software engineers and technicians will be onboard to evaluate the avionics during testing. Avionics flight tests will begin in early 1999.