Boeing's Maritime Surveillance Aircraft demonstrator model is based on the Bombardier CL-604 Challenger, shown here with Coast Guard markings. ()
Boeing's Maritime Surveillance Aircraft (MSA) demonstrator has made its first flight. The test flight, using a Bombardier Challenger 604 passenger jet, flew February 28 from Pearson International Airport in Toronto. The production MSA will use a Challenger 605.
The MSA's maiden flight, flown by Boeing partner Field Aviation, was to test airworthiness. More airworthiness flights are scheduled for the next two months, after which the aircraft will fly to a Boeing facility in Seattle where MSA mission systems will be installed and tested.
The MSA uses surveillance technologies developed for Boeing's P-8A Poseidon, including Active Electronically Scanned Array multi-mode radar, an electro/-optical/infrared sensor, electronic support measures, a communications intelligence sensor and an automated identification system.
"We accomplished everything we set out to achieve," said Field Aviation pilot Craig Tylski. "The aerodynamic performance was right on the money and even with the additional aerodynamic shapes, such as the radome, the demonstrator performed like a normal aircraft. The control and handling were excellent."