Deliveries of the first Boeing F-15SA Eagles to the Royal Saudi Air Force are impending, the IDEX Show Daily has learned, following the solution of an unspecified problem with the aircraft’s all-new digital fly-by-wire (FBW) flight control system.
The first of three production F-15SAs being used as prototypes made its maiden flight at St Louis on 20 February 2013, beginning what was expected to be an 18-month flight test effort that was scheduled to end in the summer of 2014. Beyond brief announcements of the rollout and first flight, Boeing (Stand 02-A20) has always declined to make any comment on the F-15SA programme, but there have been reports of unspecified problems.
An 18-month flight test programme was an unusually lengthy effort for a variant of an existing aircraft type, though it was explained that this was necessary because the F-15SA’s FBW system had to be cleared and recertified across the entire F-15 flight envelope. […]