South Korean trainer flies for first time in the USA


South Korea’s trainer jet took its first test flight in the USA last week after both the countries agreed to mutually recognize its airworthiness certification in September.

On November 19, the T-X trainer, a modified version of the T-50 airplanes in service with the South Korean Air Force, showed off its flight performance as a candidate to replace the existing jets operated by the US Air Force, the Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA) said in a statement last Thursday (November 24, 2016).

The advanced T-X trainer jet was built by the Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI). T-X is the US project name for the advanced trainer jet that will replace the T-38 Talons in use at present.

“The T-X’s test flight in the USA means that the US Department of Defense has officially accepted the airworthiness certification domestically earned for the South Korean aircraft,” a DAPA spokesman said.

To obtain approval to fly in US airspace, South Korea was undergoing a complicated administrative process and providing extra costs.

DAPA believes that the mutual recognition of airworthiness certificates would assist South Korea in exporting its trainer jets to the USA in the long term.

November 30, 2016

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