Climate Chamber Test, Escape System Test, Flight Control Law: T-7A Red Hawk Triples Progress as flight testing continues

Climate Chamber Test, Escape System Test, Flight Control Law: T-7A Red Hawk Triples Progress as flight testing continues

By Dario Leone
May 1 2024
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T-7A Red Hawk Triples Progress

The Boeing T-7A Red Hawk achieved three recent milestones, propelling the advanced pilot trainer for the US Air Force (USAF) forward, the company says in a news release.

  • Climate Chamber Test: T-7A aircraft APT-3, one of five engineering and manufacturing development aircraft, underwent rigorous testing at Eglin Air Force Base, enduring temperatures ranging from -25°F to 110°F. This test evaluated the aircraft system’s performance, including propulsion, hydraulic, fuel, electrical, secondary power, environmental control, and overall operations in extreme environmental conditions. The aircraft has since returned to St. Louis for testing.
  • Escape System Test: Boeing and the Air Force conducted a dynamic sled test in February at Holloman Air Force Base in New Mexico. The test focused on design enhancements in the Collins Aerospace, an RTX business, ACES 5 ejection seat and Pacific Scientific EMC’s canopy fracturing system to reduce the risk of injury. During the test, the team implemented variable timing to slow down the ejection seat, using the drogue chute and investigated canopy fracturing system patterns. The team is now preparing to move forward with the next round of development testing.
  • Flight Control Law: Boeing completed development in February of a new software flight control law and since then, has flown the aircraft more than 10 times, reaching 25-degree angle of attack. Additionally, three of those flights demonstrated the aircraft’s ability to achieve fine tracking while in high angle of attack, a key capability for pilot training. Incorporation of control law 17.5 clears the path for the Air Force to start high angle of attack and departure resistance testing at Edwards Air Force Base.
Climate Chamber Test, Escape System Test, Flight Control Law: T-7A Red Hawk Triples Progress as flight testing continues
T-7A APT-3 endures temperatures ranging from -25°F to 110°F at Eglin Air Force Base.

Revolutionize pilot training

“The T-7A Red Hawk is poised to revolutionize pilot training, delivering enhanced safety, performance and adaptability, and completing these three milestones shows significant progress in the program’s development,” said Evelyn Moore, vice president and program manager, T-7 Programs. “We will continue with flight testing and the next round of escape system testing throughout this year and into 2025.”

While the T-7A Red Hawk continues to progress in testing and flight completions, Boeing is also building a new production line for low-rate initial production (LRIP) of the T-7A. The company is slated to load the first forward and aft fuselages for LRIP midyear as suppliers are already underway developing parts for production.

The T-7 Red Hawk

The T-7A is a new advanced training system that is being developed to replace the aging T-38 Talon. The Red Hawk leverages a glass cockpit, stadium seating and embedded training to meet USAF needs to train the next generation of fighter and bomber pilots.

Climate Chamber Test, Escape System Test, Flight Control Law: T-7A Red Hawk Triples Progress as flight testing continues
T-7A APT-3 completed the climate chamber testing with the US Air Force and returned to Boeing St. Louis for continued testing.

The aircraft, combined with advanced ground-based simulators, will be a giant leap in pilot training as the Air Force strives to maintain its tactical advantage over evolving threats.

The T-7A’s vibrant red tails are a tribute to the Tuskegee Airmen, the first African American US military aviators who flew red-tailed fighters during World War II.

The T-7A will enhance warfighter training through:

  • Improved pilot readiness: The all-new advanced pilot training system uses high resolution ground-based training systems and simulators to deliver robust and realistic integrated live, virtual and constructive training capabilities.
  • Safety: Model-based engineering enabled testing throughout the aircraft’s design and build to help ensure safety before the first flight. The T-7A’s cockpit egress system is the safest of any trainer.
  • Flexibility for any mission: With open architecture software and digital fly-by-wire controls, the T-7A supports training for a wide variety of fighter and bomber pilots and can evolve as technologies, threats and training needs change.
P-51 Red Tail
This print is available in multiple sizes from AircraftProfilePrints.com – CLICK HERE TO GET  YOURS. P-51C-10 Flown by Tuskagee Airmen Col. Charles E. McGee, 302nd FS, 332nd FG, Italy

Photo credit: Samuel King Jr. U.S. Air Force


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Dario Leone

Dario Leone

Dario Leone is an aviation, defense and military writer. He is the Founder and Editor of “The Aviation Geek Club” one of the world’s most read military aviation blogs. His writing has appeared in The National Interest and other news media. He has reported from Europe and flown Super Puma and Cougar helicopters with the Swiss Air Force.
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