Test Flights

  • Saab's next generation fighter jet took another step toward operational status by breaking the sound barrier for the first time. The US$85 million Gripen E​ aircraft flew at speeds beyond Mach 1 (761 mph, 1,225 km/h) over the Baltic Sea on October 18 during flight trials.
  • Airbus Defence and Space and its partners have taken the jet-powered Sagitta demonstrator to the air for the first time. The UAV, which is intended to aid in the development of future production unmanned aerial vehicles, flew on a pre-determined course for around seven minutes during the test.
  • Saab's next-generation fighter, the Gripen E, has taken to the skies for the first time. At 10:32 am CET on June 15, the prototype delta-wing multi-role fighter set out on its maiden flight from Linköping, Sweden​ with Saab test pilot Marcus Wandt at the controls for a 40-minute flight.
  • ​It was in November of 2016 that we first heard about SolarStratos, a 2-seater solar-electric aircraft that's ultimately intended to fly to an altitude of 25,000 m (82,000 ft) – the edge of space, essentially. The plane made its first flight this Friday.
  • ​After being officially unveiled last month, the new Boeing 737 MAX 9 airliner has now been flown for the first time. The test flight took place this Thursday, as the aircraft took to the skies over Puget Sound in Washington state.
  • Boeing’s lanky new 787-10 Dreamliner has left the nest for the first time. The maiden flight of the longer, more spacious plane lasted just shy of five hours, as it was put through the paces to check flight controls, systems and handling.
  • Global shipping giant UPS has teamed with Ohio-based electric truck and drone developer Workhorse Group to trial of a drone that launches from the roof of a delivery vehicle to handle out-of-the-way stops, while the driver continues making other deliveries by road.
  • BAE Systems has refitted a Jetstream 31 test aircraft previously used in autonomous flight research as a testbed for a series of trials aimed at proving the safety and reliability of satellite-communications based autonomous aircraft technologies.
  • The Airbus A350-1000 made its maiden flight yesterday. The A350-1000, the longest and largest of the three A350 XWB base models, took off from Toulouse-Blagnac Airport, France, and flew for four-hours and 18-minutes, above southwestern France before touching back down at 3:00 pm.
  • A collaborative project has come a step closer to zero emission passenger flights with the first flight of a hydrogen fuel cell four-seater electric aircraft. The twin-cabin, (relatively) low-noise HY4 took off at 11:15 am (local) today for a quick zip around Stuttgart Airport.
  • SpaceX​​ isn't the only private company racking up space firsts. Having successfully flown to space and completed a powered landing last November​, Blue Origin's New Shepard booster​ on Friday became the first rocket to repeat the feat.
  • SpaceX has shown off its new party trick with the release of a video of the Crew Dragon manned space capsule conducting a powered hover test.