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Boeing starts build of simulators for US Air Force’s new T-7A trainer

T-7A simulator
Photo: Boeing

Aerospace and defense major Boeing has started producing the first ground-based training systems that will be used alongside the US Air Force’s next-generation trainer, the T-7A Red Hawk.

Boeing teams are currently assembling the first two weapons systems trainers and an operational flight trainer at the company’s St. Louis site. These simulators can digitally connect to actual T-7A aircraft and enable live virtual constructive and embedded training scenarios.

The training simulators are equipped with high-fidelity crew stations that include dynamic motion seats and the Boeing Constant Resolution Visual System’s 8K native projectors, offering 16 times the clarity of traditional high-definition video (1080p).

Boeing expects to deliver the first T-7A Red Hawk simulators to the Air Force in 2023.

First aircraft aircraft deliveries at Joint Base San Antonio-Randolph, Texas, are also scheduled for 2023. The air force plans to buy 351 T-7A aircraft, 46 simulators and associated ground equipment under a $9.2 billion contract awarded to Boeing in September 2018.

The T-7A features twin tails, slats and big leading-edge root extensions that provide deft handling at low speeds, allowing it to fly in a way that better approximates real world demands and is specifically designed to prepare pilots for fifth-generation aircraft. The aircraft’s single engine generates nearly three times more thrust than the dual engines of the 57-year-old fleet of T-38C Talon which it is replacing.

“The Red Hawk’s training system is arguably the most advanced in the world. It’s a game changer,” said Chuck Dabundo, vice president of Boeing T-7 Programs. “This system is 100% integrated with the pilot’s real-world experience, offering ‘real-as-it-gets’ simulation. We’re working closely with the US Air Force and look forward to testing and fielding the devices.”