Boeing and partner Saab have completed the first flight of their second production-ready T-X aircraft, which is identical to the first and designed specifically for the U.S. Air Force advanced pilot training requirement.
During the one-hour flight, 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.
“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.”
Both pilots trained for the flight using the complete Boeing T-X system, which includes ground-based training and simulation.
“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 Boeing T-X aircraft has one engine, twin tails, stadium seating, and an advanced cockpit with embedded training. The all-new, purpose-built design offers flexibility to evolve as technology, missions, and training needs change.
Boeing and Saab revealed their design in September 2016 and flew the first aircraft last December.
T-X will replace the Air Force’s aging T-38 aircraft. Initial operating capability is planned for 2024.