British Aerospace EAP

British Aerospace EAP

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British Aerospace EAP

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The British Aerospace EAP was a technology demonstrator aircraft developed as a private venture in the 1980s and which eventually formed the basis for the Eurofighter Typhoon.


In 1982, British Aerospace (BAe) exhibited a mockup of the Agile Combat Aircraft (ACA) at the Farnborough Airshow as well as the Paris Air Show in May 1983. The ACA combined several years of private venture research by BAe, costing around £25 million, with similar studies done by MBB (in the TKF-90 project) and Aeritalia. Plans were made by the three companies to produce two technology demonstrator aircraft based on ACA under the name "Experimental Aircraft Programme".

The British Government announced it would make a financial contribution to the EAP but a lack of funding from the West German government meant that the planned second airframe was cancelled. The sole EAP aircraft (serial ZF534) first flew on 8 August 1986. The UK Ministry of Defence would eventually invest almost £80m in the EAP, the rest funded by BAe.

The EAP aircraft was built within the development facility (No. 2 Hangar) at British Aerospace, Warton; and comprised three major fuselage structures; front, centre & rear. The front fuselage contained many innovative structures in carbon fibre composites and aluminium lithium alloy. The centre and rear fuselage structures being more conventional with a modified Tornado fin being...
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