USAF to re-use retired Lancer for ground testing systems

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A recently retired US Air Force B-1B Lancer is being converted into a systems testbed for use in ground testing at Edwards Air Force Base, California.

The aircraft is one of 17 Lancers being retired by the US Air Force (USAF). However aircraft 0099 will become the Edwards Aircraft Ground Integration Lab (EAGIL).

“EAGIL will be a non-flyable aircraft that will be used as an integration lab for future upgrades,” said Stephen Salas, B-1 platform lead, global power bombers combined test force.

“We plan to do avionics software, weapon and hardware testing, new equipment fit checks, prototyping efforts and EAGIL will be used to support weapon load training, egress training, as well as aircraft familiarization for new personnel.

“EAGIL will save 100-200 days of scheduled downtime for our two flyable developmental test aircraft.”.

A number of the aircraft’s systems will continue to be maintained to enable its use for ground testing and training. The Lancer will be left “tow capable” so that it can be moved to meet test requirements.

0099’s new role as the EAGIL will support planned testing needed to sustain and improve the B-1s warfighting capabilities for years to come.

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Ben has worked as a journalist and editor, covering technology, engineering and industry for the last 20 years. Initially writing about subjects from nuclear submarines to autonomous cars to future design and manufacturing technologies, he was editor of a leading UK-based engineering magazine before eventually becoming editor of Aerospace Testing in 2017.

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