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Typhoon jets built by BAE Systems in Lancashire hit the target on the scales
THE first Tranche Three Typhoon next-generation fighter jet has been weighed-in to confirm that it meets design standards, pushing the programme a step closer to completion.
The aircraft, British single seat number 116, had its measurements recorded using a highly-sophisticated set of hydraulic scales at the company’s military aircraft in Warton.
BS116 tipped the scales at 23,500 kg, almost 245 times heavier than the former WBA heavyweight champion David Haye who weighs 96kg.
The weighing system for Typhoon consists of load cells which are placed between hydraulic jacks and three lifting points of the aircraft, with the jet then being gradually taken off the ground. Based on the readings from a series of these three point lifts and arithmetic, engineers can calculate the total aircraft weight and the centre of gravity positions to a high degree of accuracy.
The fighter jet is required to meet strict weight restrictions. All aircraft can vary in mass due to fluctuations in components such as paint, wiring and sealant, making weigh-ins necessary to determine the correct centre of gravity pre-flight.
As Typhoon is naturally an ‘unstable’ aircraft, accurate pointing of the centre of gravity is critical.
Tom McMichael, engineering director for BAE Systems’ Combat Air said: “Weighing a machine of this size is no mean feat and it is vital that the centre of gravity calculations are accurate to the nearest millimetre.
“We are delighted to have taken another important step in the Typhoon Tranche Three programme with this successful weigh-in.”
This is the latest step in the delivery of the Tranche Three programme and the upgraded aircraft will become a multi-role fighter – capable of shifting between air-to-air and air-to-ground attacks without having to stop to reconfigure its weapons.
The Royal Air Force will receive 40 of the jets as soon as they are ready.
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