T-7A Red Hawk “Red Tail” jet makes production debut
May 18, 2022- Last month Boeing revealed the T-7A Red Hawk in St. Louis. The new U.S. Air Force trainer carries twin red tails in homage of the airmen who flew red tailed P-51 Mustangs into combat and into history as the first African American aviation unit in the U.S. military.
Ted Colbert, president and CEO of Boeing Defense, Space & Security, stated, "The T-7A Red Hawk proudly carries on the heritage of the Red Tails - reminding us of the Tuskegee Airmen's dedicated service to this nation. We look forward to providing the Air Force with a training system that will train and develop new generations of heroes for decades to come.”
In attendance at the roll out ceremony was Tuskegee Airman, Lt. Col. U.S. Air Force, (ret.) George Hardy, who said his friend and fellow Tuskegee Airman, the late Brig. Gen. Charles McGee was represented in spirit by his two children at the event. Hardy stated, “All of my fellow Tuskegee flyers would be very proud to see these red tails on this beautiful jet,” said Hardy as he motioned to the T-7A Red Hawk. “It’s wonderful that we are being honored in this way.”
In 2018, the U.S. Air Force awarded Boeing a $9.2 billion contract for 351 advanced trainers later named the T-7A Red Hawk and 46 simulators and support. The jet was digitally designed using advanced digital modeling and manufacturing techniques. The jet was developed from concept to first flight in 36-months. The new advanced trainer incorporates open architecture software, digital fly-by-wire controls and advanced cockpit technology that provides a new level of safety and training for future fighter pilots.
The advanced trainer is assembled at Boeing’s St. Louis, Missouri site. The aft section is produced by Saab and digitally joined along the production line.
“This aircraft links our storied past to the possibilities of our future, and will enable the next generation of Air Force leaders to fulfill their unlimited potential,” stated Lt. General Richard M. Clark, Superintendent of the United States Air Force Academy.