The prototype of the new Aermacchi M-345HET (High Efficiency Trainer) two-seat basic jet trainer successfully completed its first flight from Venegono Superiore airfield (Varese, Italy) on December 29, 2016.
Quirino Bucci, Project Test Pilot Trainers of Leonardo Aircraft Division, expressed great satisfaction at the end of the 30-minute flight and said, “The aircraft conducted itself perfectly, meeting the expectations of the design parameters while showing excellent performance. The engine in particular demonstrated a great capacity to react to regime changes, which is a fundamental characteristic for a basic training aircraft.”
The M-345 is the latest-generation aircraft from Leonardo for military pilot training and provides global air forces with an economically affordable and effective solution, thanks to a major reduction in acquisition and lifetime costs compared with powerful turboprop trainer aircraft. The test campaign will be completed within 2017. The next tests will check the advanced avionics systems, the engine and the flight envelope expansion, including altitude, speed and maneuverability.