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November 19, 2013

First flight of Cessna-built attack jet prototype scheduled

Textron AirLand plans to fly the first prototype of the Scorpion, its military light attack jet, in the first week of December, according to a report by Aviation International News.

Textron AirLand plans to fly the first prototype of the Scorpion, its military light attack jet, in the first week of December, according to a report by Aviation International News.

The prototype was designed from scratch and built at Cessna in Wichita, in secrecy, beginning in early 2012, company officials said in September.

Low-volume production is slated for 2015.

Testing and early production will take place in Wichita, Cessna’s parent company, Textron, has said. Beyond that, it remains to be seen where production would be handled.

Textron spokesman Dave Sylvestre on Monday did not confirm the date of the first flight. It is scheduled to take place before the end of the year, he said.

It will take place in Wichita.

The plane is in the testing and final checks stage preparing for first flight, Sylvestre said.

The Scorpion program is slightly ahead of schedule, he said.

The nearly all-composite plane borrows technology, but not the design, used in Cessna’s Citation business jets. It was built without government funds, and the company didn’t go through the usual procurement process in which the military issues specifications and companies compete for the project.

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