New look for ‘flying test bed’ aircraft

The 'Flying Test Bed' has changed colour to black.
The 'Flying Test Bed' has changed colour to black.
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The Lancashire aircraft which has led pioneering work in unmanned flight has got a new look.

The humble Jetstream, dubbed the ‘Flying Test Bed’, has changed its navy blue and red livery for a high-gloss black as it prepares for its latest round of flights before the end of the year.

It is expected to undertake up to 10 flights before the end of the year as part of work undertaken by Warton-based BAE Systems.

The Jetstream, which was built in 1982, is an aerial laboratory kitted out with equipment to allow it to fly as if it were an unmanned air vehicle (UAV), piloted from the ground. Jason Lydon, the Aircraft and Flight Trials Manager, said: “It is 11 years since it was last painted, so it needed a lick of paint and it is looking good for it.

“The colour has been chosen to make it easier to see which I believe is why all our Hawk training aircraft are painted black.”

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