First flight

On 15 June 2017 Defence and security company Saab completed a successful first flight of the next generation smart fighter, Gripen E.

First flight success for Gripen E
First flight success for Gripen E

At 10:32 on Thursday June 15, Gripen E took off on its maiden flight, flown by a Saab test pilot. The aircraft (designation 39-8) left from Saab’s airfield in Linköping, Sweden and flew over the eastern parts of Östergötland for 40 minutes. During the flight, the aircraft carried out a number of actions to demonstrate various test criteria including the retracting and extending of the landing gear.

«The flight was just as expected, with the aircraft performance matching the experience in our simulations. Its acceleration performance is impressive with smooth handling. Needless to say, I’m very happy to have piloted this maiden flight», says Marcus Wandt, Experimental Test Pilot, Saab.

«Today we have flown this world class fighter aircraft for the first time. We achieved it with the fully qualified software for the revolutionary avionics system. This is about giving our customers a smart fighter system with the future designed in from the start. The flight test activities will continue to build on this achievement with the programme on track to achieve the 2019 delivery schedule to our Swedish and Brazilian customers», says Jonas Hjelm, Senior Vice President and Head of Saab Business Area Aeronautics.

Saab has flown its Gripen-E new-generation fighter for the first time, almost exactly 13 months after its official roll-out. Developed for Sweden, it has also been ordered by Brazil and is being marketed world-wide (Saab photo)
Saab has flown its Gripen-E new-generation fighter for the first time, almost exactly 13 months after its official roll-out. Developed for Sweden, it has also been ordered by Brazil and is being marketed world-wide (Saab photo)

 

KEY DATA

Length overall 15.2 m/50 feet
Width overall 8.6 m/28 feet
Basic mass empty 8,000 kg/17,637 lbs
Internal fuel 3,400 kg/7,496 lbs
Maximum takeoff weight 16,500 kg/36,376 lbs
Maximum thrust 98 kN/9,993 kgf/22,031 lbf
Minimum takeoff distance 500 m/1,640 feet
Landing distance 600 m/1,968 feet
Maximum speed at sea level > 756 knots/870 mph/1400 km/h
Maximum speed at high altitude Mach 2
Supercruise capability Yes
Maximum service altitude > 16,000 m/52,500 feet
G-limits -3G / +9G
Hardpoints 10
Combat turnaround air-to-air 10 min
Full engine replacement 1 hour

 

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