UNITED24 - Make a charitable donation in support of Ukraine!


EUROFIGHTER completes carefree handling trials

23 Jul 2002

The Eurofighter Typhoon Single Seat Development Aircraft (DA2), based at BAE Systems Warton has successfully completed a series of high-risk, asymmetric carefree handling flight trials.

The carefree trials are designed to evaluate the Flight Control System (FCS) on the aircraft. Carefree means that the pilot can perform whatever action he wants with the stick, pedals and throttle and the aircraft's flight control system will protect the pilot and the aircraft by limiting parameters such as angle of attack, g-force and roll-rate, to a safe level.

To test the FCS to the full, the aircraft is fitted with the most demanding weapon configuration. For these trials, which are to clear the Eurofighter Typhoon for Initial Operational Clearance, this consisted of two Advanced Medium Range Air-to-Air Missiles on the right-hand under fuselage stations and a short-range Sidewinder missile on the right-hand wing tip. Other configurations will be tested in the future as the aircraft proceeds through to full operational clearance.

DA2 is the only Eurofighter Typhoon aircraft across the four-partner nations that can undertake these Carefree Handling Trials. This is because the aircraft can be fitted with an anti-spin gantry and an emergency power unit. These safety measures are fitted to protect the pilot and the aircraft should the FCS not react in the way that the results gained from rigorous testing on simulators and test rigs had predicted.

Craig Penrice, Eurofighter Typhoon Project Pilot, who has been at the controls of DA2 during these trials said: 'Flying the carefree handling trials is probably as exciting as test flying gets, because you are pushing the aircraft and its software to its limits.

'So far the flight control systems have performed entirely as predicted following the substantial testing undertaken in the wind tunnel and flight simulation. This marvellous achievement is credit to everyone involved.'

About Eurofighter Typhoon:

The Eurofighter Typhoon is the world's most advanced swing-role combat aircraft, developed by the leading aerospace companies, Alenia Aerospazio, BAE Systems and EADS, of the four partner countries, Italy, the UK, Germany and Spain. Eurofighter Typhoon features unrivalled technology, designed for the defence needs of the next forty years.

Agile and highly manoeuvrable, the twin-engine Eurofighter Typhoon is designed to operate from hastily prepared bases and small runways for world-wide operations. It is equipped with an advanced multi-mode radar and an extensive range of sensors and electronic countermeasures.

The aircraft's ability to gain air superiority beyond visual range (BVR) and in close combat, and at the same time deliver high sortie rates against air, naval and ground targets in all weathers with a variety of weapons, demands close attention to pilot workload. In Eurofighter the pilot flies through use of a computerised flight control system, which offers full carefree handling.

A strong emphasis has been placed on reducing cost of ownership in addition to outstanding performance and flight safety. Reliability, low cost of maintenance and a sophisticated on-board testing system ensure ease of day to day management and through life costs. Eurofighter Typhoon is less expensive to run than the generation of aircraft it is designed to replace.

The Eurofighter partner nations will take delivery of 620 aircraft: 180 for Germany, 121 for Italy, 87 for Spain and 232 for the United Kingdom.


BAE Systems is a systems company, innovating for a safer world. BAE Systems employs nearly 100,000 people and has annual sales of around 13 billion. The company offers a global capability in air, sea, land and space with a world-class prime contracting ability supported by a range of key skills. BAE Systems designs, manufactures and supports military aircraft, surface ships, submarines, space systems, radar, avionics, communications, electronics, guided weapon systems and a range of other defence products. BAE Systems is dedicated to making the intelligent connections needed to deliver innovative solutions.

Join the GlobalSecurity.org mailing list