Boeing’s winning T-X aircraft is entering 2019 preparing for Engineering and Manufacturing Development. In an exclusive interview with Combat Aircraft, Boeing T-X program manager Steve Parker said: ‘It’s not the traditional EMD program,’ adding that the aircraft is considered to be matrue despite being an all-new design. Boeing is building five EMD T-X aircraft, which still do not have a formal designation or name.
Meanwhile, the 19th Air Force commander, Maj Gen Patrick Doherty, became the first Air Force airman to get a sortie and a first-hand look at the capabilities of the next-generation fighter and bomber trainer at Boeing’s St. Louis facilities on November 27. ‘The T-X will revolutionize how we train pilots in the future. From the performance, flight characteristics, data management, avionics, higher angle of attack – the T-X brings a high level of realism, 5th generation capabilities and futuristic training concepts that we simply do not have at this time,’ said Doherty. ‘I’m excited for the future of the flying training community and how it will make us more lethal, competitive, and agile with our production pipelines.’
The US Air Force awarded Boeing the contract for the T-X in September 2018 and the service’s current plans include the purchase of 351 T-X trainers and 46 simulators, with the first arrivals scheduled to arrive at Joint Base San Antonio-Randolph, Texas, in 2023.
All undergraduate pilot training bases will eventually transition from the T-38 to the T-X. Those bases include: Columbus Air Force Base, Mississippi; Laughlin AFB, Texas; Sheppard AFB, Texas and Vance AFB, Oklahoma.
The full inteview with Steve Parker will appear in the February edition of Combat Aircraft, on sale in January.