Taiwan's AIDC conducts runway test for Brave Eagle jet trainer

The trial marks significant milestone in jet's development and history of Taiwan's aviation industry

Brave Eagle Advanced Jet Trainer

Brave Eagle Advanced Jet Trainer (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — A Brave Eagle advanced jet trainer (AJT), designed by Taiwan's state-owned Aerospace Industrial Development Corporation (AIDC), completed its first runway taxiing test on Tuesday (June 2), marking a historic moment in Taiwan’s aviation history.

The jet had previously implemented a series of static tests. On Tuesday morning, it rolled out of AIDC’s secret hangar at Ching Chuan Kang (清泉崗) Air Force Base, ready for its runway test, Liberty Times reported. The first test was conducted at 9 a.m., followed by another trial in the afternoon, in which an F-CK-1 IDF slowly followed behind to commemorate the new jet’s development milestone.

Personnel from the Ministry of National Defense, Air Force, and AIDC watched intently as the aircraft gradually accelerated and traversed the tarmac before finally coming to a stop.

AIDC officials pointed out that although some deficiencies still need to be addressed, the jet's first flight test will still be scheduled for the end of June. President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) is expected to attend and observe the momentous occasion.

AIDC is scheduled to deliver 66 Brave Eagle jet trainers to the Air Force before 2026. The delivery will also include 26 sets of ground-assisted training systems, 16 sets of mission planning systems, three sets of basic flight simulators, a set of full-function flight simulators, a set of real-time ground monitoring systems, and a set of flight training management systems.

According to Kyodo News, the Brave Eagle jet trainers will replace Taiwan’s AT-3 Tzu Chung trainer jets and F-5E Tiger II fighter aircraft (used to train pilots).

Currently, a fighter pilot must fly a propeller plane before moving on to the AT-3 and finally, the F-5. Soon, the pilot can fly a fighter plane after completing training on a propeller aircraft and then the Brave Eagle jet trainer.