US Air Force jet trainer upgrade prevents obsolescence and improves availability
Field Aerospace has recently completed work on the T-1A Avionics Modification Program (AMP), intended to address obsolescence issues and increase aircraft availability and decrease sustainment costs.
The T-1A twin-engine trainer is based on the Beechjet 400A light business jet and is used by the USAF to train transport and tanker aircraft pilots.
The project was managed from Tinker AFB for Air Education and Training Command (AETC).
Work was carried out at Field’s Oklahoma City facility on 73 T-1As. The final aircraft returned to its home base in January.
The project included a full avionics upgrade and required updating an FAA Supplemental Type Certificate to accommodate the design differences between the commercial aircraft and the USAF T-1A.
'This was a great opportunity for us,' said Paul Berry, Field's T-1A programme manager. 'We had done this type of work before, but not for the T-1A. Our team quickly identified opportunities for improving the process and delivered quality work, on time and on budget for our USAF customer.'
Field performed prototype, low-rate initial and full-rate production modifications with Rockwell Collins, Nextant Aerospace and FlightSafety International as subcontractors.
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The total cost of the design and construction contract will be €15 million (US$16.2 million) with a completion deadline of 18 months.
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