First T-7A Red Hawk Rolls Out

The Red Hawk T-7A, a joint effort between Boeing and Saab — first Air Force trainer jet to use digital design tools to allow it to move from computer screen to first flight in 36 months — was unveiled in a roll out ceremony in St. Louis, Missouri.

  • Published April 28, 2022
  • By Daryl Mayer, Air Force Life Cycle Management Center Public Affairs


The first T-7A Red Hawk training aircraft rolled off the production line at the Boeing Defense, Space & Security building at Lambert International Airport.

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Rolling out of the first T-7A Red Hawk – Photo Boeing – Eric Shindelbower

This is the first of 351 aircraft to be delivered to the Air Force under terms of a $9.2 billion contract awarded to Boeing in September 2018.“Today we honor the heroes of our past, while also looking toward our future as an Air Force on an incredible pace of change, innovation and progress,” said Lt. Gen. Richard Clark, U.S. Air Force Academy superintendent.

U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Matthew B. Fredericks

The production aircraft sport the iconic “Red Tail” symbol of the famed Tuskegee Airmen of World War II. The Red Hawk name is derived from the Curtiss P-40 Warhawk, one of the aircraft flown by the 99th Fighter Squadron, the U.S. Army Air Forces’ first African American fighter squadron.

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Boeing Photo

Attending the ceremony was retired Lt. Col. George Hardy, a Tuskegee Airman, along with Yvonne and Ron McGee, children of the late Brig. Gen. Charles McGee.

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The T-7 comes equipped with a boom receptacle for refueling training – Photo: Boeing

“With this roll out, we honor our storied history and the heroes who wrote the chapters,” Clark said, “and we usher in an exciting new era of aviation and a new generation of heroes who will write the next chapters.”

The aircraft, along with simulators and associated ground equipment, will replace Air Education and Training Command’s aging fleet of T-38C Talon aircraft.

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Lt. Gen. Brad Webb, commander of Air Education and Training Command, speaks during the T-7A Red Hawk rollout ceremony April 28, 2022, at the Boeing facility in St. Louis, Mo. The T-7A will eventually replace the T-38C Talon to train Air Force pilots to fly fourth and fifth-generation aircraft. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Matthew B. Fredericks)

Quality has always been and remains the top priority for Air Education and Training Command, Lt. Gen. Brad Webb, commander of AETC, said. “The T-7A aircraft and accompanying ground systems will help us meet the Air Force’s mission and prepare aircrew to fight future threats. Getting the T-7A into the hands of our instructors, students and maintainers is important to our initiatives in transforming pilot training to ensure the highest caliber of pilots are ready for future conflict.”

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U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Matthew B. Fredericks

The Red Hawk, a joint effort between Boeing and Saab, is the first Air Force aircraft to use digital design tools to allow it to move from computer screen to first flight in 36 months.

“The T-7 was designed through model-based systems engineering and 3D tools,” said Col. Kirt Cassell, T-7 program manager. “This enabled quicker assembly and improved quality to deliver a safe and effective training system for Air Education and Training Command.”

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Two Boeing T-X trainers parked on a taxiway – US Air Force Photo

Going forward, the aircraft will perform a series of ground checks and taxi tests before making its first flights in the coming weeks. Later this year, it will fly to Edwards AFB, California to begin flight tests.

“The T-38 is a true workhorse training Air Force fighter and bomber pilots for Air Education and Training Command, but the T-7 Red Hawk is a game changer, providing advanced mission systems, a glass touchscreen cockpit, stadium seating, and embedded training capability,” Cassell said.

Related papers :

Boeing Unveils First T-7A Red Hawk Advanced Trainer Jet to be Delivered to the U.S. Air Force

“Seeing red”, T-7A Red Hawk “Red Tail” jet makes production debut

T-7A Red Hawk: didn’t just combine two cultures, it created an entirely new one (Saab)