Airbus Military has flown an AEW&C (Airbone Early Warning & Control) aerodynamic testbed of the C295 transport, with the first flight from Seville, Spain, on June 7, lasting almost three hours.
The specially modified C295, which was captained by test pilot Alejandro Madurga, performed “very satisfactorily and as expected”, with the crew verifying the aerodynamic and structural impact of the AEW&C rotodome on the aircraft’s overall structure, handling qualities and performance.
The C295 features an Airbus Military developed six metre diameter rotodome, but lacks a radar.
“On production aircraft the rotodome would be a fast-rotating device housing a state-of-the-art radar providing full 360 degree and continuous coverage of a selected area,” according to Airbus Military.
Flight testing of C295 AEW&C is set to continue over the next three months, as Airbus Military completes a feasibility study and validates the design concept.