Boeing Unveils T-X Air Force Trainer


Boeing unveiled its new military single-engine T-X airplane on Wednesday, the latest contender in the contest to supply the Air Force with its next-generation pilot trainer. Boeing has two production T-X aircraft it designed and built with Sweden’s Saab as demonstration models, featuring a twin-tail design and modern avionics made to replace the Air Force’s aging T-38 training fleet. “Our T-X is real, ready and the right choice for training pilots for generations to come,” Boeing said in an announcement. The T-X prototypes were built in St. Louis, which is rooting for Boeing to win the Air Force contract with hopes the company will produce the T-X there, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported. The aircraft will undergo flight tests throughout the year in St. Louis. Along with the potential for sales to other nations’ military forces, the Air Force order of more than 300 trainers is estimated to be worth $11 billion, according to the report.

The T-X has a GE 404 jet, glass cockpit and a software system that’s integrated with ground training equipment, according to a report by DefenseNews. Boeing expects the aircraft to fly by the end of the year while ground and structural tests continue using the two prototypes, according to the report. Boeing’s aircraft will be up against other models including Raytheon-Leonardo’s M-346, Lockheed Martin’s T-50 and another clean-sheet design from Northrop Grumman, which last month unveiled its new trainer built by subsidiary Scaled Composites. The yet-to-be-named single-engine jet, which looks like an updated version of the T-38, has been undergoing ground tests at California’s Mojave Airport.