The Eurofighter Typhoon is a twin-engine stealth fighter capable of achieving subsonic and supersonic speeds. Its carbon fiber composite airframe with lightweight titanium, Glass Reinforced Plastics (“GRP”), and alloy construction minimizes the airplane’s overall weight. These advanced materials improve fuel performance and the aircraft’s maximum range which allows the plane to remain airborne longer.
Another feature of the Eurofighter Typhoon is its short takeoff and landing (“STOL”) capability. STOL aircraft have the ability to use shorter runways which is an added advantage in wartime conditions when choice airfields are not always available.
The Typhoon uses a digital Fly-By-Wire system and a complex autopilot to assist the pilot. The autopilot will provide standard navigational information such as heading, airspeed, and altitude, but it can also be used for auto-attack, auto-approach, and auto-climb maneuvers. If the pilot becomes disoriented during flight, the Typhoon can be button-activated to automatically recover itself to a level wing position at 300 knots with a slight climbing altitude.
As of February 2007, Eurofighter had delivered 114 of the 638 Typhoons that were on order. The airplane’s primary customers are the four Eurofighter partners, though Austria has committed to purchase 18 Typhoon jets with an option to purchase another six. Saudi Arabia has also expressed an interest in the Eurofighter Typhoon, which took centerstage at the Dubai 2009 Airshow.
Maximum speed: Mach 2.0
G limits: +9/-3 Gs
Ceiling: 65,000 feet
Length: 52 feet, 4 inches
Wingspan: 35 feet, 11 inches
Height: 17 feet, 17 inches
Maximum weight: 51,809 pounds
Empty weight: 24,250 pounds
Engines: Two 20,000-pound thrust Eurojet EJ 200 reheated turbofan engines
Takeoff roll: 2,297 feet
Armament: Medium, short, and beyond visual range air-to-air missiles
Contractors: EADS, Alenia Aeronautica, and BAE SYSTEMS