The second T-X trainer from Boeing and partner Saab has completed its first flight, according to a Boeing news release.
Boeing lead T-X Test Pilot Steve Schmidt and Boeing Test Pilot for Air Force Programs Matt Giese “validated key aspects of the aircraft and further demonstrated the low-risk and performance of the design, proving its repeatability in manufacturing” during the one-hour flight, according to the release.
“The front and back cockpits work together seamlessly and the handling is superior. It’s the perfect aircraft for training future generations of combat pilots.”
The single-engine aircraft was designed specifically for the U.S. Air Force Advanced Pilot Training System program, and features twin vertical tails, stepped tandem seating for better instructor view, and an advanced cockpit with embedded training. The pilots prepared for the flight by using the ground-based training and simulator that are part of the T-X package.
“The jet handled exactly like the first aircraft and the simulator, meeting all expectations,” said Giese. “The front and back cockpits work together seamlessly and the handling is superior. It’s the perfect aircraft for training future generations of combat pilots.”
Boeing has stressed that the first two aircraft are production ready, now, not prototypes.
“Our successful flight test program is a testament to the fact that our offering is the right choice for the U.S. Air Force,” said Schmidt. “This aircraft was built to Air Force requirements and designed to fulfill the Air Education and Training Command mission.”
The Air Force’s long-running requirement to replace the aging T-38 Talon is looking to achieve initial operating capability with a new trainer in 2024.