26 November 2018 – On 26 November, Saab completed the successful first flight of the second Gripen E test aircraft. The second Gripen E test aircraft, designated 39-9, took off on its maiden flight at 09.50 am on 26 November 2018. The test flight was operated from Saab’s airfield at Linköping, Sweden, with Saab test pilot Robin Nordlander at the controls.
“Some people think being a test pilot is the most exciting job in the world and it should be. Flying Gripen E means breaking no sweat though, even on a maiden flight such as this. The flight was so smooth and 39-9 a real pleasure to pilot. I am looking forward to getting it back in the air again and soon putting the new systems to the test,” says Robin Nordlander, Experimental Test Pilot, Saab.
During the 33 minute long flight, the pilot carried out a number of actions to validate flight characteristics and various test criteria, such as the software, life support system and radio system.
“It is very satisfying to see the second Gripen E aircraft join the flight test programme as planned. This new aircraft allows us to expand the trial activities as we test more functionality with on-board systems whilst, with two aircraft now flying, we are increasing the overall pace of testing. The programme continues to deliver good progress and to generate interest as our customers and others are keen to see and learn more about the capabilities Gripen E is going to give their pilots”, says Jonas Hjelm, head of Saab business area Aeronautics.
The next phase in the test programme for Gripen 39-9 is testing of the tactical systems and sensors.