The US Air Force announced that it would begin testing Textron AirLand’s flagship jet, Scorpion, to find out whether it’s airworthy. The aircraft was not initially planned to be in USAF’s inventory.
“This is the first of its kind, we have not done a CRADA like this before and we have never had a partnership with industry to assess aircraft that are not under a USAF acquisition contract,” an Air Force representative said.
According to Textron AirLand’s president, Bill Anderson, the Scorpion was designed to be very effective and very affordable.
With a $20 million price tag and below $3,000 an hour operational costs, the Scorpion is a cost-effective aircraft for today’s missions which include repetitive counter-insurgency sorties.
The Scorpion has twin turbofan engines that are able to achieve a flight speed up to 517 mph, it houses an internal payload bay that’s capable of carrying 3,000 pounds.