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First Brazilian Gripen takes flight

28th August 2019 - 09:30 GMT | by The Shephard News Team

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Saab has carried out the maiden flight of the first Gripen E fighter for the Brazilian air force. 

The 65min sortie of aircraft 39-6001 was carried out by Saab test pilot Richard Ljungberg from the company’s Linköping, Sweden site on 26 August, during which it verified basic handling and flying qualities at different altitudes and speeds, ensuring that the aircraft’s behaviour was in line with expectations.

‘This milestone is a testament to the great partnership between Sweden and Brazil. Less than five years since the contract was signed, the first Brazil Gripen has conducted her first flight,’ Håkan Buskhe, president and CEO of Saab, said.   

This aircraft is the first Brazilian production aircraft and will now be used in the joint test programme being carried out by the Swedish government and Saab, expanding the test parameters for the tactical system and sensors on-board the fighter, which once in service with the Brazilian air force as the F-39 will have the tail number 4100.

Aircraft 39-6001 is different to previous Gripen E test aircraft in that it has a new cockpit layout including a large wide area display, two small head down displays, and a new head up display, as well as an updated flight control system. 

‘For me as a pilot it has been a great honour to fly the first Brazilian Gripen E aircraft as I know how much this means for the Brazilian air force and everyone at Saab and our Brazilian partners,’ Ljungberg said. 

‘The flight was smooth and the aircraft behaved just as we have seen in the rigs and simulators. This was also the first time we flew with the wide area display in the cockpit, and I am happy to say that my expectations were confirmed.’

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