Presentation on theme: "The T-50 was the highlight of the Korean Air Defense Exhibition (KADE) that I attended on behalf of Lockheed. As the cockpit lead for the preliminary design."— Presentation transcript:
The T-50 was the highlight of the Korean Air Defense Exhibition (KADE) that I attended on behalf of Lockheed. As the cockpit lead for the preliminary design of the T-50 “Golden Eagle,” it was fun to see it start to take shape. Here, a poster and a nice-sized model of the two- seat trainer being built for the Republic of Korea Air Force (ROKAF) is near the Lockheed exhibit in the KADE show area. The T-50 Golden Eagle
Another view of a model of the T-50 “Golden Eagle.” Note the strakes in front of the wings (ala F-18) – but F-16-like wings.
The T-50 was a “blended” design after lots of research and study (of the F-18 Hornet and the F-16 Viper)—I think the final design was very good and it will make a great trainer for the ROKAF. The T-50 replaces the F-5 in Korea as an “advanced” trainer—and can be modified as a fighter/attack jet.
The aircraft in full—about the size of a T-38 and powered by an F-18 sized engine, the jet is fully maneuverable and powerful. The design allows easy transition to more modern fighters for the Korean students.
The “Golden Eagle” is being produced in the southern area of South Korea. Lockheed is a “partner,” assisting in training, flight control development, and a few other areas. The aircraft could be used in the USAF for replacing T-38s when the time comes—if our government concurs.
When the trainer is modified slightly, it will have the ability to use a gun and carry missiles, rockets, and bombs. The ROKAF not only uses the T- 50 for a trainer, it will also be used as a fighter/attack jet.
A shot of the T-50 with some of the armament, infrared pods, and other things that are part of the total package.
The cockpit has some glass displays, a side- stick controller, and a nicely-angled ejection seat for the instructor pilot / student (depending on who is sitting in the front seat).
Another view of the cockpit. I was in charge of “teaching” the South Korean engineers about cockpit design options—types of displays, required gauges and controls, and so on. The T-50 has a lot of F-16/F-18 features, as the Koreans wanted to spend less on a trainer—rather than develop brand-new technology. Still, it is a good cockpit for preparing a graduate to move on to the F-16s or F-15s the country has in its Air Force. Additionally, digital flight control laws make the T-50 easy to fly— and very similar to flying a Viper (Falcon) or Eagle.
At the KADE show, there was a model of the F-404 (F-18) engine used to power the T-50 jet. The aircraft will have an afterburning engine that can propel it to supersonic speeds and allow 6 g’s of turning capability for the trainer. Using a modified existing engine saved money for the Korean government.
The South Koreans also designed a propeller-driven basic training aircraft for use in their pilot schools. Tandem seating and nice aerodynamics, the KT-1 can prepare the student for jet training in the T-50. This particular bird at the show was painted grey and looked nice. KAI is “Korean Aerospace Industries,” an amalgam of various South Korean countries. At least one of my Korean friends worked on this aircraft after he moved from the T-50 program.
The KT-1 front cockpit allows a student or instructor pilot to be able to fly the basic trainer through all maneuvers. As with the T-50, this aircraft can be used as an attack aircraft (note the gun barrel in the pod in the upper right of the photo).
The KT-1 aft cockpit is a very functional cockpit also. Lockheed did not help design this training aircraft. Note the center stick, in lieu of the T-50 side-stick.