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DSEI 2021: 2Excel gears up for Tempest sensor testbed work

17th September 2021 - 09:00 GMT | by Tim Martin in London

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A model of the Excalibur 757 testbed on display at DSEI 2021. (Photo: author)

After completion of a feasibility study, 2Excel is commencing design and build work on a Boeing 757 testbed aircraft to develop sensor capabilities for the UK's Tempest sixth generation fighter programme.

2Excel Aviation has been issued with a new contract from Leonardo to start Phase 2 of the Tempest flight test aircraft (FTA) programme which will see the company fit a Boeing 757-200 airliner, dubbed Excalibur, with a range of sensors and combat air technologies.

Phase 2 moves FTA on from an initial feasibility phase toward design and build activities, leading on from 2Excel acquiring the 757 in February 2020.

First flight of the modified aircraft has been scheduled for 2023 and will take place from 2Excel's Lasham, Hampshire, MRO facility.

In a 15 September company statement, Leonardo also explained that Excalibur will be made …

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