The Lead-In Fighter Trainer (LIFT) version of the T-50 Golden
Eagle supersonic fast jet trainer made its initial flight on August
During the 41-minute
flight, the test aircraft reached a maximum altitude of 22,000 feet
and a maximum speed of 310 knots indicated airspeed.
"As expected, the T-50 LIFT aircraft performed identically with
the AJT version," said Maj. Lee, Choong Hwan, ROKAF T-50 test pilot
for the first flight. "The common performance and handling
characteristics will simplify testing, documentation and training
for our pilots."
The aircraft was flown by the Republic of Korea Air Force
(ROKAF) from the air base at Sachon, South Korea. (Korea Aerospace
Industries (KAI) is the prime contractor in the development of the
T-50, and Lockheed Martin is the principal subcontractor.)
The second T-50 LIFT aircraft will be the fourth and final
flight-test aircraft in the Full-Scale Development program and is
expected to have its first flight this week.
"We are excited about adding the LIFT aircraft to our
flight-test fleet," said Park, No Sun, T-50 program director and
plant manager of KAI's Sachon plant. "We will begin conducting
stores testing and much more avionics testing. Also, these two
aircraft will allow us to significantly increase our test-flight
More 'offensive' than the AJT version:
The main differences from the advanced jet trainer (AJT) T-50
version are the addition of a radar and an internal 20 mm gun. The
multimode radar is the APG-67(V)4 built by Lockheed Martin's Naval
Electronics & Surveillance Systems. It is the latest version of
a system that is operational on Taiwan's Indigenous Defensive
The gun is produced by General Dynamics Armament and Technical
Products. It is a three-barrel variant of the six-barrel M61 20mm
cannon, which is standard on U.S. fighters. The internal gun system
is mounted behind the cockpit in an arrangement similar to the F-16
and carries 205 rounds of ammunition in a linear linkless feed
Both T-50 versions have seven stores stations (one on each
wingtip, two under each wing and one on the fuselage centerline),
have a stores management system, are able to carry up to 9,500
pounds of external load and will be certified to carry up to three
150-gallon external fuel tanks.
The T-50 LIFT version will be certified to employ the gun and
various combinations of SUU-20 training dispensers (carrying BDU-33
practice bombs and 2.75-inch rockets), MK-82 500-pound bombs, MK-83
1,000-pound bombs, MK-84 2,000-pound bombs, TGM-65 Maverick
air-to-ground training missiles, AIM-9 Sidewinder air-to-air
missiles and the Air Combat Maneuvering Instrumentation pod.
The LIFT version will be used by ROKAF to train its new graduate
pilots in basic fighter tactics and weapons employment. ROKAF also
refers to the T-50 LIFT version as the A-50.