The T-7A Red Hawk supersonic advanced trainer jet has achieved the Military Flight Release (MFR), a certification granted by the US Air Force (USAF), Boeing said.
Thanks to the authorization, the aircraft is cleared for the first flight with USAF pilots.
“The MFR affirms that all air worthiness processes have been met to conduct flight and test operations of the advanced trainer,” the US company said.
The T-7A Red Hawk won the competition to replace the Northrop T-38 Talon, training jets that have been in service since the 1960s.
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Developed jointly by Boeing and Saab, the aircraft used advanced digital tools, which reduced design time.
Despite this, problems with the activation of the ejection seat postponed entry into service from 2025 to 2026.
According to the service, the ejection tests showed that the exhaust system can cause concussions in the pilots, although industry sources consider that the USAF would have instrumented the dummies in the wrong way.
The Red Hawk was designed to accommodate pilots of very different sizes and therefore its ejection system needs to be more versatile.
The first series-production jets are expected to be contracted in the fiscal year 2025 budget. The USAF is plans to purchase between 340 and 475 aircraft from Boeing.