Today we completed a successful first flight with the first Brazilian Gripen E fighter aircraft. At 14:41 on 26 August, Gripen E aircraft with registration code 39-6001, took off on its maiden flight flown by Saab test pilot Richard Ljungberg. The aircraft operated from Saab´s airfield in Linköping, Sweden.
The duration of the flight was 65 minutes and included test points to verify basic handling and flying qualities at different altitudes and speeds. The main purpose was to verify that the aircraft behavior was according to expectations.
This Gripen E is the first Brazilian production aircraft and will be used in the joint test program as a test aircraft. The main differences compared to the previous test aircraft are that 39-6001 has a totally new cockpit layout, with a large Wide Area Display, two small Head Down Displays and a new Head Up Display that has been developed together with Brazilian industry. Another major difference is an updated flight control system with updated control laws for Gripen E. It also includes modifications both in hardware and software.
This means that Saab can continue the testing phase in a serial environment, especially with the new cockpit and the human/machine interface.
“For me as a pilot it has been a great honour to fly the first Brazilian Gripen E aircraft as I know how much this means for the Brazilian Air Force and everyone at Saab and our Brazilian partners. The flight was smooth and the aircraft behaved just as we have seen in the rigs and simulators. This was also the first time we flew with the Wide Area Display in the cockpit, and I´m happy to say my expectations were confirmed,” says Saab test pilot Richard Ljungberg.
39-6001 will now join the test programme for further envelope expansion as well as testing of tactical system and sensors.