Only pilots with high jet time to fly F/A-50s

April 4, 2014 5:24 am 

MANILA, April 3 — The Philippine Air Force (PAF) announced that only pilots with considerable hours in jet time and operations will be trained and assigned to the 12 F/A-50s "Fighting Eagle" which the country will be acquiring from South Korea.

This was confirmed by Col. Miguel Ernest Okol, Air Force spokesman, who said that military pilots who trained and highly qualified in the SIAI Marchetti S-211 jet trainers were the ones who will be the ones getting the first chance to fly and operate the Mach 1.5 capable F/A-50s.

"And all of these people are relatively junior in rank so that the PAF will be having more time in employing them," Okol said in Filipino.

He earlier said that the pilot pool for the F/A-50s has been finally identified and selected.

The pilot pool includes two instructor pilots, two operational pilots, and two test pilots.

Deployment of these PAF pilots to South Korea for training and familiarization briefing on the F/A-50 will be determined later, Okol said.

Aside from the six pilots selected for testing, operational and instructor positions, another six pilots who have just finished training in the S-211 were selected for line pilot training.

The PAF spokesman said these individuals will undertake F/A-50 simulator training once the senior "Fighting Eagle" pilots have returned to the country.

The Philippines and Korea Aerospace Industries, Ltd (KAI) signed the P18.9 billion deal for 12 units of the F/A-50 last Friday.

Department of National Defense Undersecretary for finance, modernization, installations, and munitions Fernando Manalo said that the first two F/A-50 jet aircraft will be delivered 18 months after the opening of the letter of credit, the next two will be delivered 12 months later and the remaining eight jet planes to be delivered in staggered basis within eight months.

The F/A-50 has a top speed of Mach 1.5 or one and a half times the speed of sound and is capable of being fitted air-to-air missiles, including the AIM-9 "Sidewinder" air-to-air and heat-seeking missiles aside from light automatic cannons.

The F/A-50 will act as the country's interim fighter until the Philippines get enough experience of operating fast jet assets and money to fund the acquisition of more capable fighter aircraft.

The F/A-50 design is largely derived from the F-16 "Fighting Falcon", and they have many similarities: use of a single engine, speed, size, cost, and the range of weapons.

KAI's previous engineering experience in license-producing the KF-16 was a starting point for the development of the F/A-50.

The aircraft can carry two pilots in tandem seating. The high-mounted canopy developed by Hankuk Fiber is applied with stretched acrylic, providing the pilots with good visibility, and has been tested to offer the canopy with ballistic protection against four-pound objects impacting at 400 knots.

The altitude limit is 14,600 meters (48,000 feet), and airframe is designed to last 8,000 hours of service.

There are seven internal fuel tanks with capacity of 2,655 liters (701 US gallons), five in the fuselage and two in the wings.

An additional 1,710 liters (452 US gallons) of fuel can be carried in the three external fuel tanks.

Trainer variants have a paint scheme of white and red, and aerobatic variants white, black, and yellow.

The F/A-50 "Fighting Eagle" uses a single General Electric F404-102 turbofan engine license-produced by Samsung Techwin, upgraded with a full authority digital engine control system jointly developed by General Electric and KAI.

The engine consists of three-staged fans, seven axial stage arrangement, and an afterburner.

The aircraft has a maximum speed of Mach 1.4-1.5.

Its engine produces a maximum of 78.7 kN (17,700 lbf) of thrust with afterburner. (PNA)



One Response to “Only pilots with high jet time to fly F/A-50s”

  1. Philippine FA-50 Fighting Eagle Acquisition Timeline | rhk111's Military and Arms Page on April 6th, 2014 8:43 am

    […] * April 4, 2014 – Philippine Air Force (PhAF) Spokesman Col. Miguel Ernest Okol said that 6 pilots (2 Instructors, 2 Operations Pilots and 2 Test Pilots) have been identified and included in the pool of Pilots for the FA-50 Fighting Eagle. All of them have considerable flight time on the S-211 Jet Trainers and are junior in rank so their employment with the PhAF will be maximized. The pilots will start training in South Korea at a future date. (Source: Only pilots with high jet time to fly F/A-50s) […]