Boeing Launches New Round Of T-7A Flight Tests

Credit: Boeing

Boeing on June 22 launched Phase II flight testing of the company-owned T-7A prototype in St. Louis. 

The three flights logged by the future U.S. Air Force jet trainer were the first in several months. By last fall, the first two prototype aircraft had completed 246 sorties before entering a scheduled modification period. 

Boeing engineers had loaded a software fix on June 17 for a wing drop problem identified last week by the Air Force.  

Boeing did not directly comment on the performance of the software fix, but a spokesman relayed a quote from test pilot Steve Schmidt.

“The aircraft performed wonderfully and as expected,” Schmidt said.

The Air Force now expects the production phase of the T-7A to begin 7-9 months late in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2023. 

The milestone was delayed by the impact of COVID-19 disruptions on the Boeing supply chain, according to program officials. 

Developing a software fix for the wing drop problem was not a factor in the schedule delay, Boeing said. 

Steve Trimble

Steve covers military aviation, missiles and space for the Aviation Week Network, based in Washington DC.


It seems a shame that the wing rock issue is fixed by software rather than aerodynamically. 737 MAX comes to mind.
James, why would you want to fix a fly by wire issue with an airframe change?
Lewis, are you saying the problem is caused by the fly-by-wire system? If so, then software fix is obvious. If the problem stems from aerodynamics, I'll stand with my note.