Warplanes: December 24, 2001


South Korea hopes to capture 30% of the world market for jet trainers (3,500 aircraft in the next 30 years) using its T-50 Golden Eagle. Once known as the KTX-2, it is an adaptation of the F-16 design. The T-50 weighs 14,200 pounds empty, and has maximum take off weight of 26,400 pounds. The GE F-404-12 engine has 17,700 pounds of thrust, driving the Golden Eagle to a maximum speed of Mach-1.4. The design load factor is +8gs (or -3gs). The service ceiling is 48,000 feet. The aircraft is designed for a lifetime of 8,000 flying hours. Six prototypes are on order, two T-50s, two A-50 attack jets, and two airframes for static testing. The South Korean government plans to buy 47 T-50s and 47 A-50s with production starting in 2003; the first will enter service in 2005. All will be delivered by 2010. The aircraft has fly-by-wire, two color five-inch multifunction displays, a heads up display, and HOTAS (Hands On Throttle And Stick) controls.--Stephen V Cole




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