The Eurofighter IPA 7 test aircraft reached a round milestone in late November when it landed safely on the airfield in Manching after its 100th flight, carrying a new flight software version.
During the flight, which lasted about one hour and 25 minutes, pilot Heinz Spölgen tested the new software’s autopilot functions, particularly the one for automatic landing approaches.
Test pilot Chris Worning had already flown the IPA 7 with this new software version in mid-November. The aircraft forms part of the four-nation test fleet and is used with the appropriate software standard for tests of the plane’s enhanced capabilities. It will serve in particular to test air-to-ground capabilities at a later date.
The IPA 7 was commissioned in January 2008 as the first series aircraft of the Tranche 2 standard. The main difference between Tranche 2 and Tranche 1 production Eurofighters is their new avionics computer, which distinguishes itself through its higher processing speed and memory capacity. This superior computer performance is needed among other things for the enhanced aerial combat capabilities of the Tranche 2 aircraft, for air-to-ground operations and for the use of long-range guided weapons.