AIDC of Taiwan is in the process of developing the Advanced Jet Trainer (AJT) to succeed its aging line of AT-3 jets also produced by the company. The AJT is based on the existing AIDC F-CK-1 "Ching-kuo" fighter aircraft framework currently (2017) in service with the Republic of China Air Force (Taiwan) but will be 80% its own design - taking just the general form of the F-CK-1 and a few other qualities. The project hopes to produce fruit by 2021 at which point it is expected that most of the AT-3 fleet will be either fully retired or on its way out.
The AJT is set to be powered by a single Honeywell /TEC F124 series low-bypass, non-afterburning turbofan engine, a powerplant with roots in the civilian market TFE731 and the afterburning version of the same model is the F125 - the engine driving the aforementioned F-CK-1 fighter (through a side-by-side arrangement).
As a trainer aircraft, the AJT will not feature radar in its nose section but will retain the general form of the nose as seen in the F-CK-1 fighter. The crew of two will sit in tandem under a long-running, unobstructed canopy set ahead of midships. A single vertical tail fin will be featured aft (as in the F-CK-1) between the two exhaust ports. The general appearance of both the wing mainplanes and tailplanes of the F-CK-1 will be largely retained though the former is set to feature thicker chord. More internal volume will allow for more internal fuel to be carried and therefore allow the aircraft to remain aloft longer. Up to 10% of the construction of the aircraft is set to feature lightweight composites and the avionics fit will be provided through BAe Systems with locally-developed software to boot.
Development work on the AJT began in April of 2017 and is expected to span four years, encompassing tests, flight testing and formal evaluations. A first-flight is tentatively scheduled for 2020 and deliveries are set to begin soon after. It is expected that the ROCAF will secure about sixty-six of the new trainers to replace its AT-3 stock which currently numbers forty-nine in inventory (2017).
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February 2017 - The contract to jointly develop an Advanced jet Trainer based in the F-CK-1 fighter jet was signed between NCSIST and the government of Taiwan.
September 2019 - AIDC unveiled its T-5 Advanced Jet Trainer prototype on September 24th, 2019. The program is on pace for a first-flight to be had in 2020, paving the way for deliveries thereafter. It now bears the official designation of T-5 "Yung Yin" ( or "Brave Eagle").
October 2019 - A first-flight of the T-5 AJT prototype is now slated for June 2020 with early production set for 2021. Up to 66 aircraft are to be procured by the Republic of China Air Force and used to succeed and aging line of F-5E/F aircraft in same role. up to four prototypes will be used in the various testing phases to bring the AJT to full operational quality standards.
June 2020 - The AT-5 AJT prototype has begun its taxi testing phase. A first-flight is planned for late-June 2020.
June 2020 - The Brave Eagle AJT has recorded its first flight out of the Ching Chuan Kang Air Base (Taichung, Taiwan) on June 10th, 2020.
October 2021 - Taiwan media sources have stated that the initial production-quality T-5 airframe has completed its first flight, recorded on October 21st, 2021.
Aerospace Industrial Development Corporation (AIDC) - Taiwan Manufacturer(s)
Design utilizes a single primary wing mainplane; this represents the most popular modern mainplane arrangement.
Mainplanes are mounted along the midway point of the sides of the fuselage.
The planform features wing sweep back along the leading edges of the mainplane, promoting higher operating speeds.
1 x Honeywell / ITEC F124-200TW non-afterburning turbofan engine developing an 6,250lb of thrust each (estimated). Propulsion
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