As the release of the formal Request For Proposals (RFP) from the US Air Force is eagerly awaited, the two clean-sheet T-X trainer designs are tracking somewhat different courses.
Yesterday, Boeing released footage of its new T-X aircraft undergoing taxi tests in St Louis, Missouri.
Boeing says that the aircraft will commence test flying before year-end.
Conversely, Northrop Grumman is still saying nothing about its new aircraft.
Eagle-eyed reporters have spotted the new NGC T-X aircraft (serial N400NT) flying test missions from its Scaled Composites subsidiary at Mojave, California, this week, on radar tracking websites.
Since breaking cover with its joint Saab-developed T-X aircraft in September, Boeing has been keen to promote the aircraft and keep reporters updated regarding progress.
Northrop Grumman is saying nothing, and to date only a couple of unofficial images has surfaced. By keeping silent, Northrop Grumman is keeping its competitors guessing.
So little is known of the NGC design that the manufacturer can more easily watch the field and tweak its offering in the shadows as the RFP emerges, without drawing too much attention.
It’s a clever move…
… and one that frustrates reporters and enthusiasts alike.