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Combat Talon undergoes risk reduction testing

by 1st Lt. Brooke Davis
Air Force Flight Test Center Public Affairs


3/25/2005 - EDWARDS AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. (AFPN)  -- An MC-130E Combat Talon I completed the first risk reduction flight here March 15 after undergoing several months of improved avionics modifications. Airmen from the 418th Flight Test Squadron conducted the flight.

The aircraft arrived here in October from the Air Force Reserve Command's 919th Special Operations Wing at Duke Field, Fla., officials said.

Risk reduction flights will determine the performance of the new terrain-following radar and algorithms that produce a visual cue for the pilots to fly, said Maj. Scott Dickson, 418th FLTS test pilot.

"During the flight, we performed terrain-following testing to ensure that (Air Force Special Operations Command officials are) getting all the capabilities they need," said Jan Tomeny, 418th FLTS lead flight test engineer for the avionics modernization program. "Additionally, the risk reduction is performed to make sure we're fielding the plane in a timely manner."

Eight different models of the C-130 Hercules are scheduled to undergo testing here, said Dave King, 418th FLTS C-130 AMP project manager. Three other models are scheduled to be tested at Hurlburt Field, Fla.

The program upgrades include a glass cockpit with a heads-up display, which allows pilots to gather information while looking outside the cockpit. Also, a new radome that protects the new radar is being evaluated with these tests, Ms. Tomeny said.

Other upgrades include a modern multifunction radar, new communications systems to meet Air Force navigation safety requirements, a flight management system and an air data computer. In addition, new instruments will be made compatible with night-vision goggles, officials said.





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