The Danish Armed Forces’ T-17 aircraft are being upgraded with new digital instruments
20 Jun 2022
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Since 1975, the Danish Armed Forces has used the SAAB T-17 Supporter aircraft for e.g. pilot training. Now is the time for a thorough update of the instrumentation of the aircraft - a task that Scandinavian Avionics has helped greatly along the way. The prototype, which has undergone an upgrade and subsequent test flight, was handed over yesterday at the Danish Air Show in Karup, Denmark.
The original analogue navigation and communication equipment has been dismantled and replaced by modern digital equipment. With its many in-house capabilities, Scandinavian Avionics has lifted the complex task of upgrading an older aircraft to become up-to-date.
In order to be able to solve the task, Scandinavian Avionics’ design specialists and engineers, in close collaboration with the Danish Ministry of Defence Acquisition and Logistics Organisation, the Royal Danish Air Force, the Danish Armed Forces Maintenance Service and 2M Ståldesign ApS, have developed the necessary hardware and documentation incl. new layout of the instrument panel, diagrams, connections, wiring and placement of instruments.
The purpose of the prototype is to pave the way for a future proofing of the T-17 fleet, so that the type will be a relevant capacity for the Armed Forces on an ongoing basis. At the same time, up-to-date digital instrumentation means a more natural transition for new pilots to more complex platforms. Furthermore, maintenance is significantly reduced, just as a smaller weight saving on the upgrade will reduce fuel consumption.
Digital touch screens
The original analog equipment in the cockpit has been replaced with a much more modern set-up with digital touch screens and the option of wireless uploading of planning and relevant databases related to flight. The pilot’s old analog primary instruments have been replaced with a Garmin G500 TXi display, which provides a much better overview of primary flight data such as altitude and speed. This includes digital EIS (Engine Indication System), which makes, among other things, the original engine and fuel instruments redundant.
The new GTN750Xi GPS is the pilot’s tool for navigation and communication, and a battery-powered GI275 standby indicator is installed in case the aircraft loses its primary power source. LED indicators are installed in the panel, which use less power and reduce the need for maintenance, as well as an ADS-B out solution, ensuring that statutory data on the identification and position of the aircraft is transmitted. Overall, a thorough update of the old training aircraft, which really lifts the cockpit and instrumentation to a new level.
Development of the prototype
Scandinavian Avionics’ total delivery to The Danish Ministry of Defence Acquisition and Logistics Organisation also includes specification and documentation of the prototype, which will form the basis for a forthcoming EU tender for modification of the Armed Forces’ T-17 fleet.
In conjunction with the delivery of the prototype, Scandinavian Avionics has prepared a training program that will equip the military’s T-17 technicians to understand maintenance of the new systems. This training program is organized and performed by AEROTEAM Training Solutions, which like Scandinavian Avionics is part of The SA Group.
As mentioned, pilots and technicians from the Royal Danish Air Force have been involved during the process and are happy to receive the aircraft.
- “The project has been characterized by a fantastic effort by everyone – including a flexible and professional “go minded” attitude. The prototype is a pleasure to fly in, and I am really looking forward to use the aircraft into properly and becoming even wiser about the systems – both on the pilot and the technician side. It is and will be an exciting time that we approach”, says Ole Torp (POL), Major, MSc, Test Pilot, Air Command Denmark.
The test flight of the finished prototype has now been carried out to everyone’s satisfaction, and the official handover of the aircraft to the Danish Ministry of Defence Acquisition and Logistics Organisation took place during the Danish Air Show 2022 in Karup on Sunday 19 June 2022.
The Danish Air Force has a total of 27 T-17 aircraft, with room for 2 (3) men on board. The T-17 aircraft are used primarily as training aircraft for pilot training, but also for observation flights, connecting flights, maintenance of skills and much more.
The SA Group
The SA Group offers everyone, including complete turn-key, solutions within avionics, electronics, special mission, SAR, training and interior, to the military and civil aviation industry. Incl. sales, maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO), certification, design & engineering, installation, product development, production, training and consulting services.
The SA Group is represented in 9 countries, at 14 locations in Europe, the Middle East, India and Southeast Asia. Scandinavian Avionics A/S, which is the headquarters of The SA Group, was established in 1978 and is located in Billund, Denmark.
For further information:
Hardy B. Truelsen, T-17 Project Manager, Founder & Chairman, Scandinavian Avionics A/S.
Phone: +45 7950 8001, HBT@scanav.com