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Korea Aerospace Industries and Lockheed Martin Team Complete T-50 First Flight Readiness Review; New Supersonic Trainer on Track for June Liftoff
PRNewswire
FORT WORTH, Texas

The T-50 Golden Eagle program completed the readiness review for its first flight. This is a critical program milestone leading to first flight in June.

An Executive Independent Review Team has concluded a series of flight readiness reviews during the last several months. This team was composed of experts from the Korean Agency for Defense Development, the Defense Quality Assurance Agency, the Republic of Korea Air Force (ROKAF), the National Test Pilot School (Mojave, Calif.) and Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company. The final review was conducted April 15-17 at the Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI) facility in Sachon, South Korea, where the T-50 is being built.

The review team made a favorable recommendation to the ROKAF Aerospace Project Group Commander, who is expected to make a recommendation to the ROKAF Chief of Staff for a flight certificate for the T-50 Combined Test Force to initiate flight testing.

"According to our long-term schedule, the first flight of the T-50 is planned for this June," said M.K. Chang, T-50 Program Director and KAI Senior Vice President. "We are confident we will meet that schedule."

Assembly of the first flight-test aircraft was completed last September, 100 days ahead of schedule. Since then, it has been undergoing a series of ground tests to verify installed systems operations, including engine runs. In March, the static test aircraft completed limit load test requirements for the flight-test program.

The next major steps leading to first flight are verification of onboard flight test instrumentation, final electromagnetic compatibility checks and taxi testing.

Assembly of the second flight-test aircraft also has been completed, and the aircraft is undergoing ground systems checkouts. It was originally scheduled to fly at the end of this year, but might fly late this summer.

Sean C. Roberts, Director of the National Test Pilot School and Chairman of the First Flight Readiness Review Team, expressed his confidence in the capabilities of the T-50: "I strongly believe that the T-50 will satisfy the advanced trainer requirements for most of the air forces around the world."

The T-50 Golden Eagle is a supersonic advanced jet trainer being developed by KAI for the ROKAF. Lockheed Martin Aeronautics, the principal subcontractor to KAI, is providing technical expertise in all aspects of the program and is responsible for developing the T-50 avionics system, flight control system and wings. The two companies are cooperatively marketing the T-50 internationally.

T-50 Full Scale Development program began in 1997 and will continue through 2005. Initial production authorization is planned for the third quarter of 2003 with production deliveries to begin in 2005.

The T-50 will have the maneuverability, endurance and advanced systems to prepare future pilots to fly current and next-generation fighters like advanced F-16s, the F-22 and the Joint Strike Fighter. These same characteristics give it an excellent capability as a lead-in fighter trainer and potential light-combat aircraft in many air forces.

Korea Aerospace Industries Ltd. is the Republic of Korea's national aerospace company established in 1999 with the consolidation of Samsung Aerospace, Daewoo Heavy Industries, and Hyundai Space and Aircraft Company. KAI lines of business include fixed-wing aircraft, helicopter aircraft and satellites. Its major products are the KF-16, KT-1 basic trainer, T-50/A-50, SB427 helicopters, aerostructures and KOMPSAT satellite program.

Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Co., headquartered in Fort Worth, Texas, is a leader in the design, development, systems integration, production and support of advanced military aircraft and related technologies. Its customers include the military services of the United States and allied countries throughout the world. Products include the F-22, F-16, JSF, F-117, C-5, C-27J, C-130, P-3 and U-2.

Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company is a business area of Lockheed Martin Corporation , headquartered in Bethesda, Md. Lockheed Martin is a global enterprise principally engaged in the research, design, development, manufacture and integration of advanced technology systems, products and services. Employing about 125,000 people worldwide, Lockheed Martin had 2001 sales of $24 billion.

Press release and photo is posted to: http://www.lmaeronautics.com/news/programnews/combat_air/t50/t50pr020419.html

For information on Lockheed Martin Corporation, visit: http://www.lockheedmartin.com/ .

For information on Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company, visit: http://www.lmaeronautics.com/ .

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SOURCE: Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company; Korea Aerospace Industries Ltd.

Contact: Joe Stout of Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company,
+1-817-763-4086, or joe.w.stout@lmco.com