Boeing’s defense unit has announced that U.S. Air Force’s newest trainer aircraft, the T-7A Red Hawk, successfully completed high-speed low altitude testing.
“Our test aircraft successfully completed high-speed low altitude testing, reaching 560 mph/901 kph at just 150 feet/45.7 meters off the ground,” the Boeing reported on 15 October.
Boeing has released a video partly showing the successful completion of “high speed low altitude testing” of the T-7A Red Hawk, the US Air Force’s newest trainer aircraft, which is reportedly due to enter service by 2023.
In the footage, the plane is seen swiftly flying in the sky and air traffic controllers monitoring the flight as one onlooker gives a thumbs-up.
Do you feel the need for speed? The @USAirForce #T7A #RedHawk will! Our test aircraft successfully completed high speed low altitude testing, reaching 560 mph/901 kph at just 150 feet/45.7 meters off the ground. pic.twitter.com/Dro5jYWzkk
— Boeing Defense (@BoeingDefense) October 15, 2019
Boeing reported on its Twitter page that during the testing, the plane reached “560 mph/901 kph at just 150 feet/45.7 meters off the ground”.
“Do you feel the need for speed? The @USAirForce #T7A #RedHawk will!” the tweet read.
The testing comes after Secretary of the US Air Force (USAF) Matthew Donovan said that the T-7A will be “the staple of a new generation of aircraft,” aimed to replace the ageing T-38 trainer fleet of the USAF.
“The Red Hawk offers advanced capabilities for training tomorrow’s pilots on data links, simulated radar, smart weapons, defensive management systems, as well as synthetic training capabilities,” he told the Air, Space & Cyber Conference in Air Force Chief of Staff General David L. Goldfein in September.
Air Force Chief of Staff General David L. Goldfein claimed that “the distance between the T-38 and an F-35 is “night and day” but that “with the T-7A the distance is much, much smaller”.
The T-7A Red Hawk is the newest Air Force pilot training system that introduces capabilities that prepare pilots for fifth-generation fighters, including high-G environment, information and sensor management, high angle of attack flight characteristics, night operations and transferable air-to-air and air-to-ground skills.
The fighter-like trainer aircraft, which was designed for ease of maintenance, is the cornerstone of an all-new pilot training system that also includes classroom training and simulators. It will help train future fighter and bomber pilots for generations to come.
The T-7A features twin tails, slats and big leading-edge root extensions that provide deft handling at low speeds, allowing it to fly in a way that better approximates real world demands and is specifically designed to prepare pilots for fifth-generation aircraft. The aircraft’s single engine generates nearly three times more thrust than the dual engines of the T-38C Talon which it is replacing.
A $9.2 billion contract awarded to Boeing in September 2018 calls for 351 T-7A aircraft, 46 simulators and associated ground equipment to be delivered and installed, replacing Air Education and Training Command’s 57-year-old fleet of T-38C Talons.