The British company BAE Systems has begun testing a model of a promising sixth-generation fighter Tempest in a wind tunnel at Wharton in Lancashire.
The data obtained during the tests will be used to finalize the project of a promising combat aircraft. Studies are carried out at an airflow rate of more than Mach 2.
The Tempest fighter concept was presented by the British Department of Defense in the middle of last year. The military plans to use the new aircraft alongside the F-35 and Typhoon. The new fighter is scheduled to enter service in the mid-2030s.
The Italian concern Leonardo, as well as British companies BAE Systems, Rolls Royce, and MBDA UK, are participating in the aircraft development project.
It is assumed that the promising fighter will be executed in a high-wing tailless configuration with two keels deflected to the sides. The aircraft will be twin-engine with air intakes located on the sides of the fuselage under the wing.
In the design of Tempest, it is planned to widely use stealth technologies. According to the plans of the British military, the combat aircraft will be made optionally manned вЂ” it will be able to perform flights under the control of a pilot or in a fully autonomous mode.
It is planned to take the fighter into service in 2035.
The development of a promising British fighter is carried out using digital twin technology. This technology makes it possible to create a virtual fully developed model of a helicopter airplane and conduct an almost full range of its tests, including checks for heating, cooling, various modes of vibration, and structural fatigue.
BAE Systems also notes that the digital model of the fighter has already passed virtual flight tests in a simulator. The plane was flown by test pilots. On the basis of the Tempest digital model, using additive technologies, scaled-down aircraft models were manufactured for purge tests.