Taken on Apr. 28, 2022 the video in this post features the unveiling of the first Boeing T-7A Red Hawk advanced trainer jet to be delivered to the US Air Force (USAF). The jet, one of 351 the USAF plans to order, was unveiled prior to official delivery.
Designed using a digital thread, the T-7A aligns with the US Air Force’s Digital Century Series strategy by enabling the integration of new concepts and capabilities faster and more affordably through virtual testing. Then-Air Force Secretary Barbara M. Barrett announced in September 2020 that Boeing’s Red Hawk trainer jet would be the first plane to earn an “e” designation, as the eT-7A, signifying it was designed and tested using digital engineering. The advanced trainer will provide future fighter and bomber pilots with fundamental and tactical training for 5th generation aircraft.
The aircraft was built and tested using advanced manufacturing, agile software development and digital engineering technology significantly reducing the time from design to first flight. The aircraft also features open architecture software, providing growth and flexibility to meet future mission needs.
“We’re excited and honored to deliver this digitally advanced, next-generation trainer to the U.S. Air Force,” said Ted Colbert, president and CEO, Boeing Defense, Space & Security in a company News Release. “This aircraft is a tangible example of how Boeing, its suppliers and partners are leading the digital engineering revolution. T-7A will prepare pilots for future missions for decades to come.”
“The Tuskegee Airmen are one of the most celebrated units in our Air Force history, and the T-7A honors the bravery and skill of these trailblazers, said Gen. Charles Q. Brown, Jr., Chief of Staff of the Air Force. “Like the Airmen they were named and painted to pay homage to, the T-7A Red Hawks break down the barriers of flight. These digitally-engineered aircraft will make it possible for a diverse cross section of future fighter and bomber pilots to be trained, and provide an advanced training system and capabilities that will meet the demands of today’s and tomorrow’s national security environment.”
The aircraft, along with simulators and associated ground equipment, will replace Air Education and Training Command’s aging fleet of T-38C Talon aircraft.
“The T-38 is a true workhorse training Air Force fighter and bomber pilots for Air Education and Training Command, but the T-7 Red Hawk is a game changer, providing advanced mission systems, a glass touchscreen cockpit, stadium seating, and embedded training capability,” Col. Kirt Cassell, T-7 program manager, said in the article First T-7A Red Hawk rolls out by Daryl Mayer, Air Force Life Cycle Management Center Public Affairs.
The aircraft will remain in St. Louis where it will undergo ground and flight tests before being delivered to the US Air Force. The T-7A program resides at Boeing’s St. Louis facility with the aft section of the trainer being built by Saab in Linkoping, Sweden. Saab will soon start producing that section at their new production facility in West Lafayette, Indiana.
Photo credit: Boeing
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