Created to promote Grumman Beechlink's VTXTS training aircraft, this film showcases the company's program and makes a case for further development, including the aircraft's fuel efficiency (a factor during the gas crunch). VTXTS can be traced to the mid-1970s, during which time the U.S. Navy formally commenced its search for a new jet trainer aircraft to serve as a single replacement for both its T-2 Buckeye and TA-4 Skyhawk trainers. During 1978, the VTXTS advanced trainer program to meet this need was formally launched by the U.S. Navy. An Anglo-American team, comprising British aviation manufacturer British Aerospace (BAe) and American aircraft company McDonnell Douglas (MDC), decided to submit their proposal for a navalised version of the land-based BAE Systems Hawk trainer. Other manufacturers also submitted bids including Grumman, Dassault, Dornier and Lockheed, who offered their Alpha Jet to fulfill the requirement.
During November 1981, the U.S. Navy announced that it had selected the Hawk as the winner of the VTX-TS competition. Reportedly, approximately 60 per cent of the work on the T-45 program was undertaken overseas in Britain. During September 1982, a Full Scale Engineering Development contract was awarded to the team to fully develop and produce the proposed aircraft, which had been designated as the T-45 Goshawk. On 16 April 1988, the first T-45A Goshawk conducted its maiden flight
This film opens with a jet lifting off of a runway (:18) and the information that the Navy had identified a need for modern replacement training and that the VTXTS (1:27) was to be the program. The Grumman Aerospace program corporation teamed up with Beech Aircraft company and the Link Division of Singer Corporation (1:32) for this project. An Air Combat and Maneuvering sign appears and we are told 87 objectives would make up this program (2:24). The camera moves up and down a list including stages such as basic instrument, radio instrument and gunnery instrument (2:36). The simulation model at the Navy training base was a useful tool for evaluation (3:05) and this was part of the ISD integration process. A diagram of the simulator is depicted (3:52) and the actual simulator at work follows (4:12). The dome projection system had been crafted using a synergistic wing system (4:43). The view from an actual craft landing onto a carrier follows as men must experience this first hand as well (4:57). Footage of jets conducting rolls and flying into formation are shown (5:48) and the challenge was to create a craft that would replace two (6:13). The 730 was small, highly maneuverable and weighed under 1,200 pounds (6:53). As spins were necessary for all training, this craft was designed to have predictable spin qualities (7:56). A scale model of 1/6th size helped predict these qualities (8:02). Another scale model at 1/8th size was used for low speed tests (8:17) and high speed tests were conducted as well (8:29). This model was taken through the transonic range which composed of the entire range of flight speeds (8:41). Wind tunnel data is fed into a simulator (8:48) for handling quality. A soft cockpit mockup (9:02) and the standard gauges mixed with the new systems are depicted (9:18). The Beech Aircraft Company created a full-scale model of the complete forward fuselage (9:45). The computerized management training system (11:12) included computers which in the event of one system crashing would be able to switch to computers at another site (11:34). The film concludes with the VTXTS logo followed by Grumman, Beech and Link (12:50).
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