Military

Boeing unveils first T-7A Red Hawk trainer for the US Air Force

Boeing unveils first T-7A Red ...
The first T-7A Red Hawk set for delivery to the US Air Force
The first T-7A Red Hawk set for delivery to the US Air Force
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The first T-7A Red Hawk set for delivery to the US Air Force
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The first T-7A Red Hawk set for delivery to the US Air Force

Boeing has taken the wraps off the first production T-7A Red Hawk advanced trainer jet that is slated for delivery to the US Air Force. The first of an initial order of 351, the aircraft features special livery honoring the Tuskegee Airmen.

A joint venture of Boeing and Saab, the T-7A will replace the Northrop T-38 trainer, which has been in service for half a century and will be phased out beginning in 2023. The new trainer is designed to teach pilots to handle next-generation fighters and bombers, while being capable of adapting to changes in aerospace technology thanks to the use of digital engineering processes.

According to Boeing, the T-7A is not only ergonomically designed for the pilot, but also for the ground crew, with access panels set at a comfortable height that give easy access to the internal components. In addition, the engine can be swapped out by a small crew in a few hours.

Though the T-7A is primarily a trainer, its airframe and digital design can also be modified to act as a light fighter or attack aircraft. Currently, the forward section of the T-7A is manufactured by Boeing in St. Louis and the aft section in Linkoping, Sweden, though Saab will be shifting production to a new facility in West Lafayette, Indiana. In the meantime, the first T-7A will complete ground and flight tests before being handed over to the Air Force.

The livery of the first T-7A includes a red tail to honor the Tuskegee Airmen of World War II. Primarily composed of African Americans, the 922 pilots of the 332d Fighter Group and the 477th Bombardment Group (Medium) of the United States Army Air Forces (USAAF) were the first black military pilots to serve in the US armed forces.

"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 video below discusses the debut of the T-7A Red Hawk.

T-7A Red Hawk

Source: Boeing

8 comments
8 comments
Username
Is it only the first that will have a red tail? If so it's a very superficial gesture.
guzmanchinky
Is that jet adorable or is it just me?
Koziol
As we try to move forward and eliminate discrimination a better name could have been created to stop driving discrimination an look to the future and not the past. Hundreds of great pilots fought and died in WW II, so a new clean sheet name would have been much better. Stop trying to bring up the past and look to the future! As a pilot the red hawk name does not inspire, but continues to show discrimination.
Bob809
Koziol, I agree with you. Naming something new should be a process driven by inspiration, not a history that most people would likely prefer to forget. Droning on and on about the past means that nothing changes for the good. Whilst it can be good to remember history, it should not make the future the same as it seems to be now. Move on, rename the trainer to something more futuristic, and get on with the now. This in no way detracts from what the people that fought in all wars gave up so that others could have a better, safer life. Shame that a lot of those things they fought for have and are being removed by politicians and groups that have no right to demand the warriors be forgotten, or even erased because they do not fit into their version of the world. Those things happened, live with it.
GraemeAlexanderPosker
Hey Koz and Bob< I'm an Aussie who knows a bit about the achievements of the Red Tails. When all white bomber crews actually ask for black squadrons to fly cover for them, you have to realize what skill and commitment those guys had. You build the future on hope and the efforts of the past.
ljaques
She's a beauty! And with 11k# thrust, she should move pretty sweetly. Vaguely reminiscent of the Aero L-39, wot?
McDesign
"Currently, the forward section of the T-7A is manufactured by Boeing in St. Louis and the aft section in Linkoping, Sweden, though Saab will be shifting production to a new facility in West Lafayette, Indiana"

Having to deal with them every day, I know that international supply chains are a stupid liability.
ReservoirPup
The manned fighter aircraft are conceptually dated. Keep ignoring the reality, there will always be those who'll use it to own advantage. For lazy ones - just look at the war in Ukraine.