The Gripen E smart fighter broke the sound barrier for the first time over the Baltic Sea recently, defense and security company Saab has stated. The aircraft was reported as flying at over Mach 1 for several minutes, while carrying out maneuvers, as part of an ongoing flight trials program.
“As Gripen pilots we are used to extreme speed but to go through the sound barrier for an aircraft’s first time is still a moment to enjoy,” said Marcus Wandt, test pilot, Saab.
“It is important that the aircraft handles the transition smoothly through what we call the transonic zone around the sound barrier and she certainly did, it was very smooth.”
Jonas Hjelm, senior vice president and head of business area, aeronautics, added, “Individual milestones such as this supersonic flight demonstrate the thoroughness of our engineering approach and the validity of the modeling. It is further evidence that the Gripen E flight test program is going extremely well, while the delivery schedule to our two customers remains our key focus.”
Going supersonic followed over 20 flying hours that have been carried out since the aircraft’s first flight on June 15 this year.
November 2, 2017