Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI) and Lockheed Martin Aeronautics, a business area of Lockheed Martin Corporation
"This is another major milestone in the T-50 development program that we have started on schedule," said N.S. Park, KAI Plant Manager at Sachon, Republic of Korea. "This durability testing will validate the 8,334-hour design service life of the T-50 airframe to ensure it safely meets the rigors of fighter pilot training, both as an advanced jet trainer and as a lead-in fighter trainer. The testing will also be used to validate our aircraft structural computer model we used in the design of the airframe."
The durability (also known as fatigue) testing will test the service life based on a demanding flight spectrum representing expected flight usage. The first life testing (8,334 hours) is expected to be completed in April 2003. After a thorough tear-down inspection, the test vehicle will be subjected to a second service life testing, which is expected to be completed in 2004.
The test setup consists of 94 hydraulically controlled loading channels, three pneumatic pressure channels and approximately 1,200 strain and deflection data channels.
Static loads testing, another part of the structural certification program, was started on schedule last January, and testing is continuing. Special test vehicles were built for both static and durability structural tests. The structural testing is being conducted at the Agency for Defense Development in Daejon, Republic of Korea.
The T-50 Golden Eagle is a supersonic advanced jet trainer being developed by KAI for the ROKAF. Lockheed Martin, as 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.
The 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 derivative 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 Co. 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-16, F-22, F-35 JSF, F-117, T-50, C-5, C-130, C-130J, P-3, S-3, and U-2.
Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Co. is a unit of Lockheed Martin Corp., 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.
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SOURCE: Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company
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