Air International 1987-01
P.Jackson - Epsilon ... The Tractable Trainer from Tarbes
The Epsilon has been used to equip the Groupement Ecole 315 of the Armee de I'Air at Cognac, where some 70 examples of the Aerospatiale trainer are now in service. The illustration shows Aerospatiale’s demonstrator, the third production aircraft.
The Epsilon, in its armed version, has four wing strongpoints, stressed to carry 353 lb (160 kg) each inboard and 176 lb (80 kg) each outboard. Typical loads include the Matra twin-gun pod, Alkan 500 rocket launcher, bombs or Servaux Samar 910 survival packs.
Venezuela is the latest nation to introduce the Embraer Tucano basic trainer, and will have 30 in service by April 1987.
The Epsilon 01, first prototype, on its first flight, showing the original tail unit and "VD" marking.
A completely revised tail unit and temporarily-modified canopy on the first prototype, with marking changed to "VO"
The Epsilon 01 has been extensively used for development since the initial flight programme was completed. This photograph shows it with underwing armament
The prototype Aerospatiale Epsilon trainer has been converted to take a 450-s h.p. Turbomeca TP 319 turboprop and thus powered first flew at Pau on 9th November 1985.
The second prototype Epsilon 02, completed to the same standard as 01 after its modification. The modified wing tip can be clearly seen.
The first Epsilon delivered to the Armee de I’Air. in July 1983 was used at first by the Trials Squadron at Mont-de-Marsan, in whose markings it is seen here. It later went to GE 315 at Cognac as 315UA.
Aerospatiale Epsilon