Boeing’s T-7A Red Hawk has successfully completed taxi tests, verifying the trainer jet’s ground-handling capabilities and systems ahead of its first test flight for the US Air Force.
Steve Schmidt, Boeing’s T-7 chief test pilot said, “The flight controls and commands to the fly-by-wire system were crisp and the aircraft maneuvered exceptionally well. Everything operated as designed and expected.”
The aircraft which completed the taxi tests is one of five engineering and manufacturing development aircraft that will be used for flight testing this summer in St Louis, Missouri and will then be moved to the US Air Force Base at Edwards, California for flight testing in September, October and November.
“Our priorities are developing this advanced trainer and getting it to future fighter and bomber pilots,” said Evelyn Moore, vice president and T-7 program manager. “This test brings us one step closer to the T-7A Red Hawk taking to the skies.”
Since contract award, Boeing has flown two production representative jets up to six sorties a day recording more than 7,000 data and test points validating the platform’s reliability.
The first T-7A is expected to be delivered to the US Air Force in December 2025 according to reports. The aircraft will replace the aging T-38 trainer.
The T-7A was developed using digital modeling and design techniques and went from concept to first flight in 36 months. The aircraft incorporates open architecture software, digital fly-by-wire controls and cockpit technology that provide improved levels of safety and training for future fighter pilots.