Cessna-built Scorpion Tactical Jet Takes Flight

AIN Defense Perspective » December 20, 2013
Textron AirLand’s prototype Scorpion twin-engine “tactical” jet, which was built by Textron subsidiary Cessna Aircraft, flew for the first time on December 12 in Wichita. (Photo: Textron AirLand)
December 12, 2013, 3:32 PM

Textron AirLand’s prototype Scorpion twin-engine “tactical” jet, which was built by Textron subsidiary Cessna Aircraft, flew for the first time December 12 in Wichita. The aircraft, flown by engineering test pilot Dan Hinson and copilot David Sitz, took off from McConnell Air Force Base and conducted “a range of handling maneuvers” for nearly an hour-and-a-half, completing the flight at 10:30 a.m. Central Time. The joint-venture company had delayed the flight for several days because of weather in Wichita.

It declared that the maiden flight marked “one of the fastest developments” of a U.S.-built tactical jet, with the program moving from initial design to first flight in fewer than 24 months. “When the design phase began less than two years ago, we were confident we would deliver a uniquely affordable, versatile tactical aircraft by taking advantage of commercial aviation technologies and best practices,” said Textron CEO Scott Donnelly. “Today’s flight met all expectations, and keeps us on track toward certification and production.”

Textron AirLand unveiled the Scorpion at the Air Force Association Air & Space Conference in National Harbor, Md., in September, describing it as an “affordable” tactical aircraft capable of performing “lower-threat” Air National Guard and homeland security missions.

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on December 13, 2013 - 7:08pm

Homeland security missions?

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on December 14, 2013 - 12:54pm

I don't believe for a moment that Cessna/Textron has developed this aircraft on it's "own nickel" as CEO Donnelly claims. There is good reason to believe close cooperation with gov't agencies such as DOD and DHS in order to produce a usable product for the end user.

This may be just another step toward a rare occurrence in our current administration; a kept promise. To wit: In 2008 candidate Obama said, “We cannot continue to rely on our military in order to achieve the national security objectives we’ve set. We’ve got to have a civilian national security force that is just as powerful, just as strong, just as well-funded.”

It was a chilling statement then and remains so. Why are so few paying attention?

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Chad Trautvetter
on December 14, 2013 - 8:33pm

This quote is commonly taken out of context. Here’s what FactCheck has to say about it: http://www.factcheck.org/2008/11/obamas-national-security-force/

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texas atp
on December 17, 2013 - 11:07am

Maybe it was taken out of context but then Obama has lied about so many other things that one shouldn't trust anything that comes out of his mouth.

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Chad Trautvetter
on December 17, 2013 - 11:15am

It’s a fact that the comment was taken out of context. There is no “maybe” here.

Also, name one politician who doesn’t lie. I’ll save you some time–the answer is that there isn’t one.

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