Leonardo company announced that the prototype of the new Aermacchi M-345HET (High Efficiency Trainer) two-seat basic jet trainer has successfully completed its first flight from Venegono Superiore airfield (Varese, Italy) on the 29th of December 2016.

Quirino Bucci, Project Test Pilot Trainers of Leonardo Aircraft Division, at the end of the 30-minute flight, said: “The aircraft conducted itself perfectly, meeting the expectations of the design parameters while showing excellent performance. The engine in particular demonstrated a great capacity to react to regime changes, which is a fundamental characteristic for a basic training aircraft.”

According to the company, the M-345 is the latest-generation aircraft from Leonardo for military pilot training and provides global air forces with an economically affordable and effective solution. The test campaign will be completed within 2017.

The Italian defense and aerospace company Leonardo-Finmeccanica  (Leonardo) announced that it acquired the full control of Sistemi Dinamici, the Rotorcraft Unmanned Aerial System (RUAS) developer and manufacturer based in Pisa (Italy), from IDS on the 23rd of December 2016.

The next tests will check the advanced avionics systems, the engine and the flight envelope expansion, including altitude, speed and maneuverability.

The aircraft is powered by a Williams FJ44-4M-34 turbofan engine with a thrust of 1,540 kg (3,450 lbs). The operating efficiency is ensured by pressure refueling systems and on-board oxygen generation (OBOGS), both of which reduce ground support crews and ground operation times.