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Boeing T-7A Red Hawk USAF Trainer Enters Production, Nod to the Tuskege Airmen

Following a very brief development time – it went from the drawing boards to first test flight in just three years – Boeing’s T-7A Red Hawk entered production last week, opening the doors to a piece of technology the future pilots of the U.S. Air Force (USAF) will train on.
Boeing T-X concept, including with rendered T-7A Red Hawk livery 31 photos
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The fighter-like machine is an evolution of the Boeing T-X concept and has been developed by Boeing together with Swedish company Saab. It is powered by a General Electric turbofan engine capable of generating 17,000 lbf (76 kN) of thrust with afterburner, while seating, of course, two pilots.

The plane was designed specifically with the USAF in mind. In fact, the military branch awarded Boeing a $9.2 billion contract back in 2018, asking it to provide in return 351 such planes, but also 46 associated ground-based training simulators. And what the company will deliver will offer trainee pilots an experience that is “as real as it gets”.

“The future of air dominance lies in the ability to move quickly, take smart risks and partner in new ways to get the job done,” said in a statement Shelley Lavender, Boeing senior vice president of Strike, Surveillance and Mobility. “By creating aircraft and systems along a digital thread, we can accelerate build times and increase quality and affordability for our customers in a way that has never been done before.”

As for the Tuskegee Airmen connection, the reference is more than obvious in the color scheme used on the plane (seen in rendered form in the attached gallery), but also in the name chosen for the trainer, which is supposed to be a nod to the Curtiss P-40 Warhawks the Tuskegee used to fly into combat.

The Tuskegee Airmen were part of the 477th Bombardment Group of the USAF during the Second World War. The unit comprised mostly African-American pilots, the first to serve in the Air Force. During the war, they are credited with having performed 1,578 combat missions, and destroyed around 260 enemy aircraft, either in the air or on the ground.

press release
 
 
 
 
 

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