Boeing-Saab's new T-X launched its first one-hour test flight on 20th December over St. Louis, Missouri, central USA. The T-X is expected to replace the US Air Force’s ageing Northrop T-38s. This two-seater training aircraft is destined for instructing pilots how to fly the various types of combat aircraft employed by the American Air Force.
According to test pilots who have just flown the T-X, this jet trainer is "more flexible than older, existing aircraft”. With a single General Electric engine, double vertical tailplane and state-of-the-art avionics, it also offers "a great all-around view from the instructor's seat, which is critical during training." The second test T-X is currently undergoing ground tests. Its first take-off is scheduled for early 2017.
The T-X should fly at a maximum speed of around 800 mph with a rate of climb over 33,000 ft./min. If selected next year by the military, the Boeing-Saab TX will enter service with the US Air Force in 2024. The potential contract covers a total of 350 aircraft.