By David Crane
david (at) defensereview (dot) com
May 4, 2022
Image(s) Credit(s): Boeing
This one’s pretty cool. Boeing recently introduced their T-7A Red Hawk advanced pilot training system for US Air Force fighter and bomber pilots, and it looks pretty good, at least in the videos DefenseReview’s (DR) watched of it. The “Red Hawk” element of the name and its red-painted tail of course reference the famous Tuskegee Airmen “Red Tails” of the 332d Fighter Group and the 477th Bombardment Group (Medium) of the United States Army Air Forces (USAAF), primarily made up of African-American fighter pilots eventually flying the North American P-51 Mustang, during World War II (WWII). The Tuskegee Airmen were extremely effective and successful in their protection of US bomber aircraft doing bombing runs in the European theater.
Anyway, the Boeing T-7A Red Hawk jet trainer aircraft would appear to be a worthy aircraft to celebrate those great WWII pilots. The following information on it comes directly from the Boeing website:
“A DIGITAL DESIGN
Boeing’s T-7A Red Hawk was purpose-built to include provisions for growth, improve supportability and innovate a maintenance-friendly design. The aircraft was built with digital engineering processes, agile software development and an open architecture mission system to enable more rapid, affordable future aircraft development. These modern, computer-driven manufacturing techniques serve as an enabler for the U.S. Air Force’s Digital Century Series strategy while additionally increasing the supply base choices.
Compared to traditional aircraft development programs, T-7A experienced:
- A 75% increase improvement in first-time engineering quality
- An 80% reduction in assembly hours
- A 50% reduction in software development and verification time
The T-7A went from concept to first flight in three years as a result of a “breaking the norm” paradigm that includes a modular design of the aircraft developed specifically for maintainers, highly immersive training and offloading of skills and advanced fighter-like performance features that are commensurate with today’s 4th and 5th-gen fighter aircraft.
Ground-Based Training Systems (GBTS), encompassing a full range of physical devices and instructional techniques, will prepare students for and supplement training conducted in the T-7A. The aircraft is a flexible, modifiable solution that adapts easily to people, software and systems so future technologies can be easily implemented, pilots can adjust to their personal preferences and the entire system can be applied to other missions. By adapting to changing technologies and learning methods, and by downloading more expensive training, the T-7A produces better prepared pilots in less time.
The T-7A’s design includes provisions for growth as requirements evolve for additional missions such as an aggressor, light attack / fighter variant.
The T-7A’s purpose-built digital approach and immersive development techniques validated supportability issues and innovated a maintenance-friendly design throughout, increasing availability and lowering sustainment costs. Additionally, common sub-systems with 4th and 5th-gen fighters allows the use of existing maintenance infrastructure, further lowering life cycle costs.
The Red Hawk’s fighter-like design and performance, combined with embedded and live virtual constructive training, allows the download of training tasks from the existing fleet to a lesser cost platform while simultaneously delivering realistic training solutions that better prepare pilots for the training mission.
With key maintenance features that greatly improve mean time to repair – including high wing, easy access doors, and quick release panels – the T-7A is an affordable, reliable solution.”
Company Contact Info:
Boeing Phantom Works
P. O. Box 2515
Seal Beach, California 90740
Karen M. Fincutter
Boeing Military Aircraft Communications
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