During the test flight of one of the two Polish M-346 Master trainer aircraft, the drogue chute has been put into testing. It is on of the elements which makes the Polish airframes different from the jets operated by other nations. In this way, another requirement referring to certification of the Polish jets has been met, which shall pave the way towards Masters being used by the Polish Air Force Academy in Dęblin.
The drogue chute test, with the chute being placed in a special container at the base of the rudder, took place during one of the test flights from the Venegono airfield, located in the vicinity of the Leonardo facility where the M-346 Master aircraft undergo the assembly process.
The drogue chute is used to shorten the runway length required for landing. Such system is used in case of the supersonic aircraft operated by the Polish Air Force. Hence the requirement to install a similar system on the Master which, initially, had no drogue chute system at its disposal.
The tests were successful, and it turned out that the drogue chute has no negative effect on controllability of the jet. It is one of numerous issues that require a thorough testing process which is a part of certification of the Polish Master jets. According to the Leonardo company, all of the works have been carried out in line with the plan so far. The initial two examples of Master are to be received by Poland once the certification process comes to an end, which is expected to happen throughout the upcoming months.