Year in Review: Aircraft of 2016

open skies agreement

Wrapping up 2016, there have been many new aircraft that have been developed, taken a first flight, or been put into production. Many of the aircraft introduced this year have been military planes, especially for aviation training. Here, we look at four of the new aircraft that were released in 2016.

Mitsubishi X-2 Shinshin

The X-2 Shinshin took its first flight in April. The aircraft has been dubbed Japan’s first stealth fighter, developed by the Ministry of Defense Technical Research and Development Institute. The X-2 Shinshin can travel at a speed of Mach 2.25. The aircraft utilizes optical fibers for faster data transfer. A flight issue detection system is rumored to be built into the aircraft, allowing for greater selection of aircraft control systems if damage is sustained.

Diamond Dart 450

Diamond Aircraft celebrated the first flight of the Diamond Reconnaissance Aircraft Trainer (DART) in May. The DART is a two-seat, military training aircraft. Carbon fiber is the primary material used to create the DART. Garmin avionics are used in this training aircraft. Sidestick control and ejection seats are key features in this monoplane.


The first public flight of the HTT-40 took place in June. The aircraft was developed by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited in Bangalore. The plane is all metal and uses a turboprop engine (similar to the DART). The HTT-40 has ejection seats and multi-function displays.

Boeing BTX-1

Boeing and Saab got to showcase their advanced training jet in December. The BTX-1 has a single engine, twin tail, and a cargo pod. The tail design should provide safer in-flight refueling and better control. Saab reported that they provided the rear fuselage for the aircraft. The aircraft was created for the United States Air Force T-X Competition, the search program for the next training fighter-styled aircraft.

We can’t wait to see what’s next for 2017!