2Excel Aviation (BRO, Northampton Sywell) will convert its recently added first serviceable B757-200 into an Excalibur testbed aircraft in partnership with Leonardo Aircraft under a EUR134 million euro (USD145.9 million) contract with the multinational Global Combat Air Programme.

G-FTAI (msn 29308) was ferried from storage at Lasham to Norwich International for further modification work on August 18, 2023.

The modified aircraft is expected to enter into service as a testbed unit in 2026. Leonardo expects that it will continue to support the testing and certification of a new sixth-generation fighter aircraft through its planned launch in 2035.

The ex-Titan Airways (ZT, London Stansted) jet is actually the second B757-200 to be acquired by 2Excel Aviation, following ex-TUI Airways G-BYAW (msn 27234) bought in 2020 for static testing and part-out. That B757 was never flown by the operator.

2Excel Aviation provides a range of special mission capabilities, including search-and-rescue, and VIP charters among others. Its fleet comprises one B737-300, eight Piper (twin piston) PA-31s, two Beech (twin turboprop) King Air B200s, and five Extra 300s through its main division, and two B727-200Fs via the T2 Aviation division.