Soaring Performance at Edwards

The 445th Flight Test Squadron at Edwards AFB, Calif., put the Air Force Academy’s new TG-16A sailplane through a rigorous set of safety and performance flights this month over the California desert. “This is the first time we’ve taken it to the corners of the envelope and really put it through its paces,” said squadron commander Lt. Col. Jason Schott. The testers successfully completed aerobatic, maneuvering, stability, and high-cross-wind landing tests with the high-performance glider over the course of the flight activities. “The glider has been handling well with no significant areas of concern,” said test pilot Maj. Andrew Martin. With the flights at Edwards now complete, testers are currently evaluating the sailplane at the academy in Colorado Springs, Colo. They expect to finish those flights in early August. The academy is acquiring 19 TG-16s to replace its aging TG-10B and TG-10C gliders in aerobatic training roles. Germany’s DG Flugzeugbau manufactures the TG-16. (Edwards report by Kenji Thuloweit)