The first Boeing T-7A Red Hawk jet trainer completed its inaugural flight with the US Air Force.
The test flight took place on June 28, 2023, at Boeing’s St. Louis facility in Missouri, the United States. A pilot from the 416th Test Squadron of the USAF along with the Boeing T-7 chief test pilot tested “key aspects” of the aircraft, according to the manufacturer.
“This first flight with the Air Force represents our team’s commitment to delivering a new level of safety and training for fighter and bomber pilots,” said Evelyn Moore, vice president and program manager of Boeing T-7 programs. “We remain focused on engineering ways to better prepare warfighters for changing mission demands and emerging threats.”
The engineering and manufacturing development (EMD) phase of the program will involve a fleet of five aircraft that will be delivered to the Air Force Air Education and Training Command for testing.
The Red Hawk is a result of a partnership between Boeing and the Swedish manufacturer Saab. The duo won the TX competition, which aimed to find a replacement for the Cold War-era Northrop T-38 Talon.
The name Red Hawk was chosen as an homage to the African-American fighter pilots of the Second World War, the Tuskegee Airmen, who painted their planes’ tails red.
In 2018, the USAF awarded Boeing a $9.2 billion contract for 351 T-7A advanced trainers as a replacement for the Cold War-era Northrop T-38 Talon fleet.