TURIN, Italy, March 6 (UPI) -- An electrostatic discharge test for trainer aircraft configured with external tanks has been successfully completed by Alenia Aermacchi of Italy.
The test on the M-346 was performed at Alenia Aermacchi's plant at Venegono Superiore with support from the laboratory of Cobham, the British engineering firm.
The success, Alenia said, was a step forward in the aircraft's certification.
Electrostatic discharge is a phenomenon likely to occur during aerial refueling. Because of differences between aircraft types, an electrical discharge of more than 100,000 volts can occur when a refueling probe approaches the tanker basket.
The company said that in the test, no damage or malfunction of M-346 electronic systems were detected. Also, no sparking in the aircraft tanks was detected.
The M-346 is a transonic aircraft based on the Yak-130. It has a maximum speed of 658 mph, a range of 1,020 nautical miles and a service ceiling of 45,000 feet.