Boeing Completes Inaugural Flight of US Air Force T-7A Red Hawk Trainer Jet - M5 Dergi
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Boeing Completes Inaugural Flight of US Air Force T-7A Red Hawk Trainer Jet

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Boeing has completed the maiden flight of the US Air Force’s T-7A Red Hawk advanced trainer aircraft in St. Louis, Missouri.

The demonstration validated the jet’s overall capabilities and marked the continuation of the engineering and manufacturing development (EMD) phase for Boeing’s T-7A program.

‘Game Changer’ Aircraft

During the test, the T-7A’s key features were assessed by US Air Force 416th Test Squadron Maj. Bryce Turner and Boeing T-7 Chief Test Pilot Steve Schmidt.

The aircraft achieved one hour and three minutes of flight and was able to meet expected power and agility metrics.

“The stable performance of the aircraft and its advanced cockpit and systems are game changers for US Air Force student pilots and instructors alike,” Turner stated.

“This first flight with the Air Force represents our team’s commitment to delivering a new level of safety and training for fighter and bomber pilots,” Boeing T-7 Program Manager and Vice President Evelyn Moore added.

“We remain focused on engineering ways to better prepare warfighters for changing mission demands and emerging threats.”

Red Hawk Progress

Boeing’s EMD will see the production of four additional T-7A aircraft, all of which will be delivered to the US Air Force Air Education and Training Command for further testing.

Like the first T-7A, the remaining jets will be digitally designed, built, and trialed according to the air force’s requirements.

According to Boeing, the combined 3D design approach, model-based engineering, and advanced manufacturing improved the aircraft’s first-time development by 75 percent and reduced the assembly timeline by 80 percent.

“The Red Hawk’s digital design integrating advanced training capabilities will drastically improve pilot training for the next generation of fighter and bomber pilots,” US Air Force T-7A Program Manager Col. Kirt Cassell said.

New US Trainer Fleet

The contract for the $9.2-billion Red Hawk program was signed in 2018 to replace the air force’s existing T-38 Talon supersonic jet trainer fleet.

Under the agreement, Boeing will provide the service with 351 T-7A aircraft trainers as well as 46 simulators and support platforms.

Once deployed, the fleet will hone the airmen’s skills in safety, improve readiness, and sharpen mission flexibility.


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