New Swedish fighter Gripen E breaks the sound barrier for the first time

Swedish aerospace company Saab has begun testing the next generation fighter Gripen E. During its flight over the Baltic Sea on 18 October, piloted by test pilot Robin Norlander, it reached supersonic speed of 1225 km / h for the first time.

According to Norlander, thanks to the unique capabilities of the engine and the design of the fuselage, he practically did not feel the moment of breaking the sound barrier just a few minutes after takeoff. Since the beginning of tests (from June 15), the fighter has flown for 20 hours.

The length of the Gripen E is 15, 2 m, the wingspan is 8, 6 m, the maximum take-off weight is 16, 500 kg. The General Electric F114G engine provides the fighter with a maximum speed of 2, 450 km / h and a maximum ceiling of 16, 000 m.For comparison, the maximum speed of the Lockheed F-35 is only Mach 1.6 - 1962 km / h, despite the fact that it has a more powerful engine and a higher ceiling ...

“As Grippen E pilots, we are used to extreme speeds, ” says test pilot Markus Wandt. “But the moment we break the sound barrier is a real pleasure. Everything happens so smoothly and imperceptibly. "