Boeing has released a video partly showing the successful completion of “high speed low altitude testing” of the T-7A Red Hawk, the US Air Force’s newest trainer aircraft, which is reportedly due to enter service by 2023.
In the footage, the plane is seen swiftly flying in the sky and air traffic controllers monitoring the flight as one onlooker gives a thumbs-up.
Do you feel the need for speed? The @USAirForce #T7A #RedHawk will! Our test aircraft successfully completed high speed low altitude testing, reaching 560 mph/901 kph at just 150 feet/45.7 meters off the ground. pic.twitter.com/Dro5jYWzkk— Boeing Defense (@BoeingDefense) October 15, 2019
Boeing reported on its Twitter page that during the testing, the plane reached “560 mph/901 kph at just 150 feet/45.7 meters off the ground”.
“Do you feel the need for speed? The @USAirForce #T7A #RedHawk will!” the tweet read.
The testing comes after Secretary of the US Air Force (USAF) Matthew Donovan said that the T-7A will be “the staple of a new generation of aircraft,” aimed to replace the ageing T-38 trainer fleet of the USAF.
“The Red Hawk offers advanced capabilities for training tomorrow’s pilots on data links, simulated radar, smart weapons, defensive management systems, as well as synthetic training capabilities,” he told the Air, Space & Cyber Conference in Air Force Chief of Staff General David L. Goldfein in September.
Air Force Chief of Staff General David L. Goldfein claimed that “the distance between the T-38 and an F-35 is "night and day” but that “with the T-7A the distance is much, much smaller”.
The USAF’s F-35 fifth-generation plane reportedly continues to face an array of problems even though its development started several decades ago with the budget for the aircraft surpassing a whopping $1 trillion.
The Defence News website cited sources as claiming that some F-35 pilots experience cabin pressure spikes which give them ear and sinus pain, while the jets receive structural damage at speeds beyond Mach 1.2 and have problems operating in areas with cold weather.