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Boeing T-X trainer contender makes first flight

written by australianaviation.com.au | December 21, 2016
Boeing T-X takes off on its first flight. (Boeing)
Boeing T-X takes off on its first flight. (Boeing)

Boeing’s contender for the US Air Force’s T-X trainer program has completed its first flight.

The maiden flight lasted 55 minutes with lead T-X test pilot Steven Schmidt at the controls and Chief Pilot for Air Force Programs Dan Draeger in the instructor’s seat.

Schmidt said the aircraft met all expectations.

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“I’ve been a part of this team since the beginning, and it was really exciting to be the first to train and fly,” Schmidt said in a statement on December 20 (US time).

“It’s well designed and offers superior handling characteristics. The cockpit is intuitive, spacious and adjustable, so everything is within easy reach.”

Boeing unveiled the T-X trainer, designed in partnership with Sweden’s Saab in September at a ceremony at St Louis.

Features of the aircraft include a single GE F404 engine, twin tails, what Boeing calls “stadium seating” and advanced avionics.

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Draeger said it was a successful test mission.

“I had a great all-around view throughout the flight from the instructor’s seat, which is critical during training,” Draeger said.

A second T-X was currently in ground testing and expected to start flying in early 2017, Boeing said.

Boeing and Saab are one of five teamings competing for T-X, as well as Lockheed Martin with Korean Aerospace, Northrop Grumman and BAE Systems, Raytheon and Alenia Aermacchi, and Textron AirLand.

T-X initial operating capability is planned for 2024, with the USAF planning to acquire 350 T-X aircraft to replace its ageing Northrop T-38 Talon trainers. A final RFT was due for release by the end of this year, with selection of the winning design planned for 2017.

The T-X program may also have longer-term relevance for Australia. Included in the 2016 Defence White Paper’s Integrated Investment Program (IIP) document is a new $5 billion project to replace the RAAF’s Hawk lead-in fighter trainers.

The IIP details a requirement for “a new lead-in fighter training system to support those students who go on to complete the ADF’s fast jet pilot training.”

The IIP lists a timeframe of 2022-2033 and a budget of $4-5 billion.

12 Comments

  • Paul

    says:

    Finally a jet trainer with AB.

  • Hayden Roberts

    says:

    OOOOOOOOOOOOOH! I’ve been wanting to see it in flight!

  • Adzzaman

    says:

    This thing looks like 20 aircraft designs jammed onto 1! Not a fan of the look.

  • Tom

    says:

    Good luck to Boeing I hope its a success

  • sean

    says:

    Dont need it , PC-21 will do all we ask and more .

  • Chris

    says:

    This is a jet trainer Sean. It would replace the Hawks.

  • Raymond

    says:

    Sean, the PC-21 is a turboprop. There will be a jet LIFT to replace the Hawk to provide the next step for pilots transitioning to fast jets, and the winner of the USAF’s T-X program will be a serious contender.

  • Paul

    says:

    Sean,there is a little bit of difference between a turboprop and a jet engine.

  • Des

    says:

    Paul, the T-50 Golden Eagle has AB. It’s been around a good 10 years or so.

  • Samual

    says:

    I am just thinking that the T-38 has been around since the early 60s and they are now just getting around to replacing them.

    I imagine that the winner of the T-X competition will be a good chance to replace the Hawks.

  • Hayden Roberts

    says:

    I can imagine going from a small turboprop trainer PC-21 with a top speed of 685 Km/H to an F/A-18F/G with twin afterburning F414-GE-400 turbofans with 9,800 kg thrust each and a top speed of 1960 Km/H or an F-35A with a Pratt & Whitney F135-PW-100 and a top speed of 1960 Km/H would be pretty hard! thats why you have a lead in fighter training aircraft the difference between 700 and 2000 Km/H is pretty big

  • Paul

    says:

    Des,I forgot about that one .Thanks

Leave a Comment to Tom Cancel

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Boeing T-X trainer contender makes first flight

written by australianaviation.com.au | December 21, 2016
Boeing T-X takes off on its first flight. (Boeing)
Boeing T-X takes off on its first flight. (Boeing)

Boeing’s contender for the US Air Force’s T-X trainer program has completed its first flight.

The maiden flight lasted 55 minutes with lead T-X test pilot Steven Schmidt at the controls and Chief Pilot for Air Force Programs Dan Draeger in the instructor’s seat.

Schmidt said the aircraft met all expectations.

Advertisement
Advertisement

“I’ve been a part of this team since the beginning, and it was really exciting to be the first to train and fly,” Schmidt said in a statement on December 20 (US time).

“It’s well designed and offers superior handling characteristics. The cockpit is intuitive, spacious and adjustable, so everything is within easy reach.”

Boeing unveiled the T-X trainer, designed in partnership with Sweden’s Saab in September at a ceremony at St Louis.

Features of the aircraft include a single GE F404 engine, twin tails, what Boeing calls “stadium seating” and advanced avionics.

PROMOTED CONTENT

Draeger said it was a successful test mission.

“I had a great all-around view throughout the flight from the instructor’s seat, which is critical during training,” Draeger said.

A second T-X was currently in ground testing and expected to start flying in early 2017, Boeing said.

Boeing and Saab are one of five teamings competing for T-X, as well as Lockheed Martin with Korean Aerospace, Northrop Grumman and BAE Systems, Raytheon and Alenia Aermacchi, and Textron AirLand.

T-X initial operating capability is planned for 2024, with the USAF planning to acquire 350 T-X aircraft to replace its ageing Northrop T-38 Talon trainers. A final RFT was due for release by the end of this year, with selection of the winning design planned for 2017.

The T-X program may also have longer-term relevance for Australia. Included in the 2016 Defence White Paper’s Integrated Investment Program (IIP) document is a new $5 billion project to replace the RAAF’s Hawk lead-in fighter trainers.

The IIP details a requirement for “a new lead-in fighter training system to support those students who go on to complete the ADF’s fast jet pilot training.”

The IIP lists a timeframe of 2022-2033 and a budget of $4-5 billion.

12 Comments

  • Paul

    says:

    Finally a jet trainer with AB.

  • Hayden Roberts

    says:

    OOOOOOOOOOOOOH! I’ve been wanting to see it in flight!

  • Adzzaman

    says:

    This thing looks like 20 aircraft designs jammed onto 1! Not a fan of the look.

  • Tom

    says:

    Good luck to Boeing I hope its a success

  • sean

    says:

    Dont need it , PC-21 will do all we ask and more .

  • Chris

    says:

    This is a jet trainer Sean. It would replace the Hawks.

  • Raymond

    says:

    Sean, the PC-21 is a turboprop. There will be a jet LIFT to replace the Hawk to provide the next step for pilots transitioning to fast jets, and the winner of the USAF’s T-X program will be a serious contender.

  • Paul

    says:

    Sean,there is a little bit of difference between a turboprop and a jet engine.

  • Des

    says:

    Paul, the T-50 Golden Eagle has AB. It’s been around a good 10 years or so.

  • Samual

    says:

    I am just thinking that the T-38 has been around since the early 60s and they are now just getting around to replacing them.

    I imagine that the winner of the T-X competition will be a good chance to replace the Hawks.

  • Hayden Roberts

    says:

    I can imagine going from a small turboprop trainer PC-21 with a top speed of 685 Km/H to an F/A-18F/G with twin afterburning F414-GE-400 turbofans with 9,800 kg thrust each and a top speed of 1960 Km/H or an F-35A with a Pratt & Whitney F135-PW-100 and a top speed of 1960 Km/H would be pretty hard! thats why you have a lead in fighter training aircraft the difference between 700 and 2000 Km/H is pretty big

  • Paul

    says:

    Des,I forgot about that one .Thanks

Leave a Comment to Tom Cancel

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

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