Production Pampa III trainer jet takes first flight

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The first production Pampa III advanced jet trainer aircraft has been flown by Argentinian aircraft maker FAdeA.

The successful flight of aircraft E-824 took place on September 21, 2018, marking the start of flight testing for a batch of new aircraft. E-824 is one of three new IA-63 Pampa III aircraft that FAdeA (Fábrica Argentina de Aviones) is expected to deliver to the Argentine Air Force (FAA) under a US$30m deal signed in December 2017, which also includes the supply mobile mission planning stations, ground control systems and support equipment.

The IA-63 Pampa III is based on a design originally developed in the early 1980s by FAdeA, then called Fabrica Militar de Aviones, and Franco-German aircraft maker Dornier. The first Pampa prototype flew in 1984.

The aircraft has a crew of two, a wingspan of 9.7m (36ft), a maximum speed of 819km/h (509mph) and is powered by a Garrett TFE731-2-2N turbofan engine.

The three Pampa IIIs will join the Argentine Air Force’s existing fleet of older Pampa II aircraft and is expected to lead to the purchase of more aircraft. The Argentine Air Force has a requirement for 40 of the aircraft.

The Pampa III has had a stop-start production in Argentina, mainly because of economic problems in the country. These latest aircraft are the first time the Pampa III has been made in Argentina since 2008.

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Ben has worked all of his career as a journalist and now editor, covering almost all aspects of technology, engineering and industry. In the last 16 years he has written on subjects from nuclear submarines and autonomous cars to future design and manufacturing technologies and commercial aviation. Latterly editor of a leading engineering magazine, he brings an eye for a great story and lots of experience to the team.

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