Concept

British Aerospace EAP

Résumé
The British Aerospace EAP (standing for Experimental Aircraft Programme) was a British technology demonstrator aircraft developed by aviation company British Aerospace (BAe) as a private venture. It was designed to research technologies to be used for a future European combat aircraft, and eventually formed the basis for the multinational Eurofighter Typhoon. The EAP has its roots within the earlier Agile Combat Aircraft (ACA), a collaborative initiative studying advanced technologies to produce more capable fighter aircraft. Upon the announcement of the EAP during October 1983, it was intended to be a multinational European effort; however, neither West Germany nor Italy would ultimately contribute financially, thus the programme relied upon a combination of British public and British and European private funding instead. Having been manufactured in sections across multiple facilities, the sole EAP aircraft (serial ZF534) was rolled out during April 1986. Performing its maiden flight on 8 August 1986, the EAP would fly over 250 sorties prior to its grounding on 1 May 1991, by which point the aircraft had fulfilled its intended purpose as a development aid. The British House of Commons Accounts Committee credited the EAP with reducing the development of the Eurofighter by a year for a saving of £850 million. During the second half of 1991, the Aeronautical and Automotive Engineering department of Loughborough University received the EAP aircraft, where it was used as a static instructional aid in the teaching of Aeronautical Engineering students for many years. In early 2012, in response to a request from the Royal Air Force (RAF), the EAP was transported to the Royal Air Force Museum Cosford; it has since been reassembled and put on public display in the museum's collection. The origins of the EAP can be found within the Agile Combat Aircraft (ACA) programme performed by British Aerospace (BAe) during the late 1970s and early 1980s.
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