Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Scorpion: The New Light Jet Fighter Nobody Asked For

This week there was a surprising announcement by Textron CEO Scott Donnelly at the Air Force Association technology conference outside of Washington, D.C.  It seems that Textron teamed up with Cessna to design a new, low-cost jet fighter designed for countries that have very tight defense budgets (i.e. The United States for one).

As described and revealed in a photograph, the Scorpion is a versatile twin-engine Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR)/Strike aircraft. Engines are expected to be built by Honeywell (specifically the Honeywell TFE731s).  Empty weight of 11,800 pounds and max speed of 450 knots and a ceiling of 45,000 feet. Textron/Cessna is targeting a operating cost of $3000.00 a flight hour for this aircraft.

To this blogger, the Scorpion looks like a fixed wing F-14 Tomcat with its wings in the extended position. But I'm thinking that this could be a great aircraft for Great Britain and Japan for their respective "aircraft carrier" programs if the Scorpion can be navalized.

1.  www.flyingmag.com. "" by Stephen Pope. September 17, 2013. (http://www.flyingmag.com/aircraft/jets/scorpion-light-attack-jet-nobody-asked?cmpid=enews091213&spPodID=030&spMailingID=17904912&spUserID=NTI1OTk5OTQ5OTMS1&spJobID=229891228&spReportId=MjI5ODkxMjI4S0).  image from same website.

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