Eurofighter Typhoon's Instrumented Production Aircraft (IPA) have been busy lately, pushing forward in the testing of the fleet of development aircraft. IPA 7 recently completed a Paveway IV bomb handling, qualities familiarising flight at EADS site in Manching. The flight which took two hours and seven minutes saw the aircraft flying with six Paveway IV bombs, four MRAMMs and two SRAAMs missiles on board. Proving the true swing role configuration of the aircraft which only the Eurofighter Typhoon can have with such a range of defence systems. This test was important in order to prove how the Flight Control System (FCS) reacts with full weaponry loaded. Flown by EADS test pilot Martin Angerer, the successful flight is a key stage in the Phase 1 Enhancements.
Being fully utilised to support IPA 6 in avionics testing, IPA 7 has also completed five Missile Approach Warning (MAW) flights, carried out with the support of a Luftwaffe F-4 Phantom and a Tornado. Come August, a UK based RAF Harrier will also contribute to the MAW trials.
IPA6 has recently undergone a series of DASS test flights as well as Helmet Equipment Assembly (HEA) and Forward Looking Infra-Red (FLIR) flights. IPA 6 is the test bed for the Service Release Package 5.1 which is due to be introduced to in-service aircraft in the near future.
Further recently successful testing saw IPA 1, the UK owned Typhoon aircraft, commence a sequence of fifteen Paveway IV jettison drops. To date 3 successful drops have been performed. The trials see Paveway IV's dropped in a number of store configurations to ensure safe separation and verify that bombs do not interfere with their neighbours when released. Carried out over the Irish Sea with a full load of weapons, RAF pilots Rob Elworthy, Duncan Forbes along with Mark Bowman and Paul Stone, test pilots from BAE Systems Warton base, flew the aircraft during the trials.
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