A new era in aircraft design and build has begun as the first U.S. portion of the T-7A Red Hawk advanced trainer has officially entered the Boeing jet’s state-of-the-art production line.
The training jet, designated the T-7A Red Hawk by the U.S. Air Force because of its digital heritage, was fully designed using 3D model-based definition and data management systems developed at Boeing during the last two decades. The T-7A Red Hawk employed the digital engineering and design of the Boeing T-X aircraft that went from firm concept to first flight in just 36 months.
The Advanced Pilot Training System also incorporates leading-edge ground-based live and virtual simulators to give students and instructors a “real as it gets” experience.
In September 2018, the U.S. Air Force awarded Boeing a $9.2 billion contract to supply 351 advanced trainer aircraft and 46 associated ground-based training simulators. Saab is teamed with Boeing on the trainer and provides the aft fuselage of the jet.
“This is a historic moment for the program and industry,” said Chuck Dabundo, Boeing vice president of T-7 Programs. “The build process leverages full-size determinant assembly, which allows technicians to build the aircraft with minimal tooling and drilling during the assembly process. The digital process accounts for a 75% increase in first-time quality.”
Boeing is the world’s largest aerospace company and leading provider of commercial airplanes, defense, space and security systems, and global services. As a top U.S. exporter, the company supports commercial and government customers in more than 150 countries and leverages the talents of a global supplier base. Building on a legacy of aerospace leadership, Boeing continues to lead in technology and innovation, deliver for its customers and invest in its people and future growth.
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