Eurofighter celebrates 20th anniversary of first flight
Europe’s biggest defence programme marks a 20 year anniversary today as it celebrates the first flight of the Eurofighter Typhoon on 27th March 1994.
Since that day in Manching, Germany, when Development Aircraft 1 (DA1) was flown by Test Pilot Peter Weger, over 400 Eurofighter Typhoons have been delivered with six international customers operating the aircraft and a seventh signed up.
The milestone was marked this week at Eurofighter’s main European offices close to Munich where Test Pilots from all the four nations that make up the Eurofighter programme came together to re-live the maiden flights made in Germany, the UK, Italy and Spain.
While it was DA1 that first flew in Germany in 1994, it was the British who next took to the air with DA2 a few days later on 6th April. Italy followed in June 1995 and Spain in August 1996. Today, Eurofighter Typhoon aircraft are built at Final Assembly Plants in all four countries.
Peter Weger, who flew that first flight said: “I had little idea when I made that maiden flight from Manching what an amazing story this would become. I knew I was piloting an incredible aircraft and we had something special. It is certainly one of those days that lives with you for the rest of your life.”
The Chief Executive Officer of Eurofighter, Alberto Gutierrez, said: “Twenty years ago, none of us could know how the world would change and few, if any of us, could have anticipated the challenges that this would bring. Now more than ever it is vital that we maintain and develop our European capabilities both in the commercial and military domains. It is in all our interests to do this.”