Fairchild NGT / T-46
Rutan 73 NGT
In 1977, the USAF began to reflect the launch of a program to find a successor to the Cessna T -37B trainer. At the end of 1981, a proposal for participation for a training aircraft of a next generation (NGT / Next Generation Trainer) was sent to Cessna, Fairchild Republic, General Dynamics, Rockwell International and Vought (associated with the German constructor Messerschmitt Bolkow Blohm). The specification was based on twin-turbofan, pressurised cockpit and to have a lower weight at T37. In terms of performance, the Air Force wanted an aircraft capable of a speed of 556 Km / h at 7620 m, and capable of taking off from a runway of 1524 m.
Designed as the Rutan 73, Fairchild Republic Company built a piloted 0.62 scale model of its New Generation Trainer design for the USAF, with the purpose of validating the handling qualities, control surface hinge moments, tail loads and spin characteristics of the full‑size aircraft.
Powered by a pair of 220 lb st (100 kgp) Microturbo TRS‑18 turbojets, the scale aircraft was built by Rutan Aircraft under subcontract from Ames Industrial Corp on behalf of Fairchild and is largely of composite construction.
It was first flown at Mojave, California, on 10 September 1981 with Richard Rutan at the controls, and was expected to make about 35 flights by the end of November before being used for wind tunnel tests.
On July 2, 1982, Fairchild Republic was named the winner of the NGT program, which took the name of Thunder Piglet.
An initial contract was for two T- 46A (FSD) Nos. 84-0492 and 84-0493, 2 airframes for static tests, and an option for 54 of a planned total of 650. Deliveries were scheduled to begin in 1987 with a closure in March 1992.
The prototype T-46 first flew in July 1986, but this was largely an academic move as the USAF had terminated the T 46 programme the previous March.
The flight test program, and the development of pre-types took much longer than expected and led to the cancellation of the program March 13, 1987.
Engines: 2 x Microturbo TRS18
Wingspan: 6.70 m
Empty weight: 1,000 lb (454 kg)
Gross weight: 1,600 lb (726 kg)
Engines: 2 x Garrett F109 GA 100 turbo fans, 1,330 lb thrust