Aircraft

Boeing wins US Air Force training jet contest

Boeing wins US Air Force train...
The US Air Force has selected the Boeing T-X advanced pilot training system which features an all-new aircraft designed, developed and flight-tested by the team of Boeing and Saab
The US Air Force has selected the Boeing T-X advanced pilot training system which features an all-new aircraft designed, developed and flight-tested by the team of Boeing and Saab
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The US Air Force has selected the Boeing T-X advanced pilot training system which features an all-new aircraft designed, developed and flight-tested by the team of Boeing and Saab
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The US Air Force has selected the Boeing T-X advanced pilot training system which features an all-new aircraft designed, developed and flight-tested by the team of Boeing and Saab

The contest to build the US Air Force's next-generation jet combat trainer aircraft has come to an end, with Boeing winning the US$9.4 billion contract to build the T-X jet. Along with partner Saab, Boeing will supply the Airforce with 351 jets, 46 simulators and assorted ground equipment to replace the Air force's half-century old fleet of T-38 trainers.

Boeing say the announcement allows it and Saab to begin placing orders with suppliers as they ramp for full production. The T-X is scheduled to enter service sometime around 2024 and the initial order of 351 airframes could expand to as many as a thousand.

So far, two prototypes have been built and flown as part of the competition, which included companies like Leonardo, Lockheed Martin, KAI, Northrop Grumman, BAE Systems, Sierra Nevada, TAi, Stavatti, and Textron AirLand.

The Boeing T-X has twin tails derived from Boeing's F/A-18 for greater maneuverability and a high angle of attack, stadium seating, and an advanced cockpit with embedded training systems. It has the ability to blend with state-of-the-art ground-based training and is billed as being maintenance-friendly in anticipation of decades of service.

"Today's announcement is the culmination of years of unwavering focus by the Boeing and Saab team," says Leanne Caret, president and CEO, Boeing Defense, Space & Security. "It is a direct result of our joint investment in developing a system centered on the unique requirements of the US Air Force. We expect T-X to be a franchise program for much of this century."

Source: Boeing

6 comments
guzmanchinky
Ok, is that not the sexiest little jet anyone has ever seen? I so want one as a personal plane! But do we still need to train so many humans now that everyone is saying fighter pilots are going to be replaced by automation soon?
GregVoevodsky
I want one too! I love its twin tail and long hummingbird nose! Now, if I can strap on some bombs and missiles - priceless!
Derek Howe
guzmanchinky - While autonomous is growing for some things like bombers and aerial re-fueling, not so much for fighter jets, yet. So this is still needed. But I don't think it will be too many years and you can ditch most of these, because pilots can practice on the ground, in a simulator, wearing a VR headset.
Derek Howe
Just want to add to my previous post...since I just stumbled upon exactly what I was describing. A VR trainer. The Air Force could spend 10 grand apiece on these...that's including the computer and Vive Pro headset. Not a bad price, for such a compelling trainer.
Trylon
If you like the looks of this jet, you would have liked the BD-10J, a similar twin tail design. That actually was planned to be a supersonic jet for private pilots back in the ’90s. Unfortunately, the engineering on that wasn't as good as it should have been, and 3 of the 5 airframes built crashed, killing their pilots - a 60% failure rate.
Towerman
I want to see them at Reno