KAI T-50 Golden Eagle
SCALE & KIT
Hong Hwan Jang
The KAI T-50 Golden Eagle is a family of South Korean supersonic advanced jet trainers and light combat aircraft, developed by Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI) with Lockheed Martin. The T-50 is South Korea’s first indigenous supersonic aircraft and one of the world’s few supersonic trainers. Development began in the late 1990s, and its maiden flight occurred in 2002. The aircraft entered active service with the Republic of Korea Air Force (ROKAF) in 2005.
The T-50 has been further developed into aerobatic and combat variants, namely T-50B, TA-50, and FA-50. A F-50 single-seat multirole fighter variant was considered before being cancelled. The T-50B serves with the South Korean air force’s aerobatics team.
The T-50 has been ordered by a number of countries and entered into service in some of them. Iraq ordered 24 planes in a T-50IQ variant in 2013, and received them in 2016. The TA-50 light attack variant have also been ordered by Indonesia in 2011, with 16 planes entering Indonesian service by 2014; an additional 6 were ordered in 2021. The Philippines ordered 12 units of the FA-50 light fighter variant in 2014, delivered over the next few years, and the country is considering ordering another batch of 12 planes. Thailand ordered 12 units of the T-50 advanced trainer variant (T-50TH) starting in 2015. In 2022, Poland ordered 48 FA-50s.