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Boeing Begins F-22 Integrated Avionics Testing On 757 Flying Test Bed

SEATTLE, March 11, 1999 -- Boeing today began testing the F-22 Raptor's integrated avionics on board its 757 Flying Test Bed. The 757 took off from Boeing Field and tested navigation and sensor emitter management functions.

Testing the Raptor's advanced avionics aboard the company's test bed will help reduce risk, as well as cut back on future F-22 flight test hours by enabling extensive in-flight testing, evaluation and troubleshooting before full avionics suites are installed on F-22 fighters.

The first avionics package, Block 1, which includes the radar and mission software, will be tested on the 757 between March and August 1999. Raptor 4004 will be the first aircraft to fly with its integrated avionics installed, and is scheduled to make its first flight in 2000.

Bob Barnes, Boeing vice president and F-22 program manager, said the initial test flight went extremely well, adding that testing aboard the 757 will allow early delivery of a better developed avionics package.

"Avionics testing on other fighters has taken 4,000 to 6,000 hours," Barnes added. "We should be able to cut the hours on the F-22 by about 50 percent using our test bed." The test avionics are 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 a throttle and stick. There is room on the aircraft for up to 30 software engineers and technicians to evaluate the avionics during testing.

Additional modifications to the test bed include installation of an F-22 forward fuselage section to the nose of the plane, and installation of a sensor wing on the plane's crown. 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 sensors will be mounted directly on the wing to simulate sensor positioning on the F-22's wings.

Boeing is teamed with Lockheed Martin, Pratt & Whitney and the U.S. Air Force to develop the F-22. Boeing supplies the F-22's aft fuselage, wings, radar, 70 percent of the mission software, avionics integration and testing, training and life support systems.

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