Garmin recently celebrated the maiden flight of a Garmin integrated flight deck in a supersonic Northrop Grumman F-5 fighter aircraft.
The modular G3000 integrated flight deck boasts a large high-resolution flight display that seamlessly interfaces to the F-5’s existing mission computer, enabling advanced mapping, tactical radio capabilities, radar display and more.
The bezel keys, GTCs and L3 ForceX mission system serve as the pilot interface to the flight display, and the touchscreen controllers are designed so pilots can use gloves in the cockpit.
Gamin says the G3000 has an open architecture that enables seamless mission computer, sensors and systems interface and easily facilitates future upgrades without impacting the avionics.
It says the NVG-compatible G3000 contains modern, state-of-the-art synthetic vision technology (SVT™) that blends an out-the-window view of surroundings on the primary flight display, which is particularly helpful during night time and in mountainous environments.
The G3000 also has global capabilities for communication, navigation, surveillance and air traffic management (CNS/ATM).
Garmin says additional features within the G3000 integrated flight deck on the F-5 include, Terrain Awareness and Warning System (TAWS), global Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B) traffic and weather, as well as video interfaces.
The G3000 in the F-5 is expected to be ready to perform adversary training for the US Navy soon.
“The maiden flight of the G3000-equipped F-5 is a significant achievement as it is a testament to the rapid implementation time and flexibility afforded by a Garmin integrated flight deck,” said Carl Wolf, vice president of aviation sales and marketing.
“In just under six months, Tactical Air was able to complete the engineering design, installation and achieve first flight. Through their hard work, dedication and our strong relationship together, we’re thrilled that they’re already in the air with the Garmin G3000 in this iconic aircraft. I am confident that the Tactical Air pilots will enjoy flying behind Garmin glass.”
The F-5 is a supersonic, multi-role tactical fighter and attack aircraft that in this role will provide air-to-air combat training, close-air support training, tactics development and evaluation support. The upgraded F-5 used by Tactical Air will be used in an aggressor training role and the G3000 will transform the entire fleet of Tactical Air F-5’s with sensor and system capabilities similar to current fighter aircraft.
“The first flight of the F-5 was flawless and achieved the main objective of verifying Pilot Vehicle Interface (PVI) of aircraft systems, displays, controls and the new Caution/Advisory System (CAS). The PVI and CAS, when combined with the G3000, results in a more capable fighter aircraft,” said Ken Hamm, Tactical Air chief test pilot. “As a career test pilot with over 7,000 flight hours, I have flown aircraft from the simplest to the space shuttle. Without a doubt, I can say the F-5 cockpit is one of the most capable and flexible of all.”
One of the most enduring military aircraft designs ever introduced, Northrop Grumman Corporation’s F-5 tactical fighter series has served its customers over more than four decades. The F-5’s initial flight was July 31, 1963, at Edwards Air Force Base, Calif.
Northrop Grumman says the F-5 is an agile, highly manoeuvrable, reliable supersonic fighter, combining advanced aerodynamic design, engine performance and low operating costs. More than 2,600 were built by Northrop Grumman and under co-production and licensing agreements with Canada, the Republic of China, the Republic of Korea, Spain and Switzerland.
About two-thirds of the original production F-5’s remain operational in 26 countries, including the US. The U.S. Navy operates the F-5 in its adversary squadrons to simulate enemy aircraft in aerial combat training exercises. The US Air Force used the F-5 in a similar training role.
As the original manufacturer, Northrop Grumman has the expertise in F-5 weapons systems integration and logistics to support the fleet for its projected life. The company can maintain and enhance the structural integrity of the airplane to insure satisfactory, cost-effective structural integrity for the newly extended service life and at the more severe operational spectrums anticipated by countries operating the F-5.