Light Work-up

Hawker Beechcraft’s AT-6 is currently undergoing weapons certification testing at the Air Force’s Barry Goldwater Range in Arizona. Flown by members of the Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve Command Test Center staging from the nearby Gila Bend Auxiliary Field, the AT-6 began the trials with inert bomblets, 2.75 inch aerial rockets, and a .50 caliber machine gun. “[We had] a few hung rockets, and with the 50-cal., the biggest thing we’ve learned is that this airplane is bounced around a bit more. But, at the end of the day, things are going well,” said test pilot Lt. Col. Keith Colmer, the project’s engineering director. The AT-6 will progress to laser-guided bombs in June, followed by Hellfire missile and laser-guided rocket testing in October at Eglin AFB, Fla., and China Lake, Calif. These trials are the second phase of a Congressionally funded evaluation. (Luke report by Teresa Walker)