The second Gripen E test aircraft, 39-9, made its maiden flight on 26 November 2018. The test flight was conducted from Saab’s Linköping site, Sweden by test pilot Robin Nordlander. Reflecting on the flight, Nordlander said: “Some people think being a test pilot is the most exciting job in the world and it should be. Flying Gripen E means breaking no sweat though, even on a maiden flight such as this. The flight was so smooth and 39-9 a real pleasure to pilot. I am looking forward to getting it back in the air again and soon putting the new systems to the test.”
During the 33mins flight, the pilot carried out a number of actions to validate flight characteristics and various test criteria, such as the software, life support and radio systems. The next phase in the test programme for Gripen E, 39-9, is testing of the tactical suite and sensors.