Aug 14, 2014
Paramount's AHRLAC makes its first flight
What is being billed as Africa’s first wholly designed and built military aircraft, the Paramount Group’s Advanced High-Performance Reconnaissance Light Aircraft (AHRLAC), reached a significant milestone with its maiden flight on 7 August.
The aircraft makes its 'official public' first flight on 13 August.
The initial prototype, or Experimental Demonstrator (XDM), will prove flight characteristics and test the aircraft’s performance. A second prototype under construction, the Advanced Demonstrator (ADM), will be used to test the AHRLAC’s mission and weapon systems, as well as its Martin-Baker Mk 17 ejection seat.
Conceived as an affordable intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) and light-strike platform to address the lower end of that growing market niche, the tandem twin-seat AHRLAC is powered by a Pratt & Whitney PT6a-66 950 hp pusher turboprop. It is designed to offer a payload with full fuel in excess of 800 kg and provide an endurance of more than 7.5 hours.
Since the launch of the AHRLAC project in September 2011 the Paramount team has spent 315,000 hours on the design and construction of the first prototype. Of the aircraft's 6,000 parts, 98% were designed using sophisticated CATIA software and produced locally by the engineering team.