Published: 05-04-2018 photo #23051 0 comments 0 votes
Photographed at the RAF Museum, Cosford, Shifnal, Shropshire on 4 March 2018. This is the one and only Experimental Aircraft Programme technology demonstrator, constructed by British Aerospace using an adapted Tornado rear fuselage, fin and rudder, and a wing made in Italy. It also incorporated the fly-by-wire system that had been evaluated on the SEPECAT Jaguar GR.1 XX765 ACT Test bed; see picture 7721.
The first flight took place on 8 August 1986 (see picture 21471, contributed by the pilot, David Eagles). On its 21st flight it was demonstrated at the SBAC Farnborough Air Show that September. During three and a half months of flight testing funded by Bae 50 hours of initial flight testing were carried out. The aircraft reached a maximum speed of Mach 2.0 and an angle of attack of 33 degrees.
Further flying and ground-based research continued, using funding from the UK MOD. It appeared as number 203 between 12 and 21 June 1987 at the 37th Paris Air Show at Le Bourget. This included its one hundredth flight. After returning to Warton, it was flown by pilots from the MOD, Alenia, MBB and the Italian Air Force.
From 1988 to 1991 the testing concentrated on support of the forthcoming Eurofighter, with the last flight taking place on 1 May that year. The aircraft then went into storage at Warton, the Bae Systems airfield. It had completed 259 test flights totalling 195.21 flying hours, exceeding Mach 2 and achieving over 35 degrees AoA in controlled flight. The engines were removed, to be made available for use in Eurofighter DA2, ZH588, which was powered by them until1998.
The EAP meanwhile had gone to the Loughborough University Departments of Aeronautical, automotive Engineering and Transport Studies, replacing the above-mentioned fly-by-wire Jaguar XX765.
The final move by road to Cosford took place on 27 March 2012 and it went on display on 5 November 2013.