Boeing Defense, Space & Security2008-07-17 10:08:20

Boeing Successfully Completes Flight of 1st AEW&C Peace Eagle Aircraft Modified in Turkey

The Boeing Company [NYSE: BA] has successfully conducted the first flight test of the first 737 Airborne Early Warning and Control (AEW&C) aircraft modified by Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI) in Ankara for Turkey's Peace Eagle program.

During the 2.5-hour flight from Ankara on July 16, pilot Ron Johnston and first officer Mark Mitchell performed a series of functional tests that verified the airworthiness of the aircraft's systems and structures.

The aircraft included newly installed aerial refueling capability, an advanced Multi-role Electronically Scanned Array (MESA) antenna, ventral fins and mission system equipment.

"This flight is a tribute to the skill and hard work of TAI while successfully executing a very complex modification effort in transforming a 737-700 into an AEW&C platform," said Mark Ellis, Boeing Peace Eagle program manager.

Boeing will validate the aircraft's mission system over the next several weeks, before painting the plane with Turkish Air Force markings.

The Peace Eagle program includes four 737 AEW&C aircraft plus ground support segments for mission crew training, mission support and system maintenance. Boeing modified the first aircraft at its facilities in Seattle. TAI is modifying the remaining three aircraft in Ankara.

The 737-700 features 21st century avionics, navigation equipment and flight deck features. Because of its advanced technology, the aircraft requires minimal downtime for maintenance. The 737 series has a worldwide base of suppliers, parts and support equipment.

In addition to Northrop Grumman's MESA antenna with integrated identification friend-or-foe capabilities, the aircraft features a flexible, open architecture for cost-effective future upgrades, an extensive communications suite and aerial refueling capability.

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