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Dubai Airshow: Scorpion arrives from Saudi Arabia

Posted 13 November 2017 · Add Comment

Airland Textron flew its Scorpion ISR light attack aircraft into Dubai on Thursday from Saudi Arabia.

Although the company remains tight-lipped about the jet’s two-week sojourn to the desert kingdom, Show Business can reveal it flew several sorties from Taif Air Base.

While the company remained tight-lipped about much of the demonstration, it did confirm that the Scorpion dropped inert bombs while in-country.

The Royal Saudi Air Force is known to have an interest in the jet, which led to the second of three production aircraft, P2/N532TX, passing through Glasgow Airport heading east on October 26.

It has been an eventful year for the company as it continues to develop the Scorpion, with the first two full-spec jets – P2 and P3 – making their maiden flights during the summer.

The aircraft here at Dubai was involved in a light attack experiment (LAX) at Holloman AFB, New Mexico along with a AT-6 Wolverine, Embraer A-29 Super Tucano and L3/Air Tractor AT802 Longsword. The experiment lasted most of August and saw the jet fly 21 missions.

Scorpion test pilot, Brett Pierson, said: “Prior to that it had gone to [Naval Air Station] Patuxent River to do weapons clearance work. The USAF had specific weapons it wanted to use in the LAX, the 500lb series GBU-12, FN Herstal HPM 400C 15 calibre single barrel machine gun, and LAU-31 rocket pods, which were cleared to fire unguided and guided rocket pods.”

P2 did the weapons flights while P3 was used as a chase aircraft.

Harris, continued: “On the design of P2 and P3 we swept the wings further forward, changed the landing gear to a lighter one and made the tail fully trimmable to provide a fuller speed, allowing them to fly at lower speeds as well as fast ones.”

The Scorpion will fly back to the USA after Dubai Air Show finishes.

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