THE FIRST prototype of the modernized McDonnell Douglas A-4KU Skyhawk (locally named AF-1) flew for the first time on past July 17 at the Gavião Peixoto facilities of Embraer, in São Paulo. The new model, called AF-1B and C (single and two seaters) has started flight tests after development of the new version began in 2009. Plans are to deliver the first modernized planes in March 2014 and will include a total of 12 examples, while the remaining eleven will be used for spares.
The Skyhawks will receive a new radar and avionics, including MFDs and a new HUD for the cockpit, using most of the systems already installed on the modernized F-5EM of the Brazilian Air Force. Santiago Rivas