Boeing is particularly known for its commercial aircraft manufacturing. But it is also increasing its presence in the market by manufacturing military aircraft for the USAF (U.S. Airforce). During the rollout ceremony at St. Louis Lambert International Airport in Missouri, US, Boeing brought to light its newly manufactured T-7A Red Hawk for military training. In September 2018, USAF ordered the production of 351 T-7A aircraft from Boeing with an estimated value of $9.2 billion. Coupled with this, production was then started in February 2021.
The “red” tail of this aircraft encompasses the remembrance of “Tuskegee airmen of World War II”. Once the aircraft is delivered to the USAF, it will be used for the training purposes of pilots so that they can fly the fourth and fifth-generation aircraft of the USAF. Brad Webb, a lieutenant general at AETC, remarked, “Getting the T-7A into the hands of our instructors, students, and maintainers is critical to our goals in modernizing pilot training to guarantee the best pilots are ready for future war.”
The aircraft is yet to be delivered, and after completing its manufacturing process, Boeing will send it to the Edwards Airforce Base, which is situated in California, so that it may start its ground tests, including maintenance and repair services (if any), and then move towards flight simulation.
In the words of Boeing CEO, Ted Colbert, “We are thrilled and pleased to be delivering this digitally sophisticated, next-generation trainer to the United States Air Force.” ” This airplane exemplifies how Boeing, its suppliers, and partners are driving the digital engineering revolution. “The T-7A will train pilots for future missions for decades.” Another key thing to note is that Boeing has also formed a coalition with SAAB to provide the aft aircraft compartment for this T-7A aircraft. The delivery of the airframe sections was planned in two phases. For the initial phase, the first airframe section has already been delivered to Boeing early in April 2021, while the second one was dispatched in July.
The manufacturing concept of this trainer aircraft was based on highly developed digital technologies by incorporating the paradigm of 3D modeling and database management system by collaborating with SAAB. The production was headed under the project “Engineering and manufacturing development (EMD).”