Boeing Eyes T-7A EMD Production
ORLANDO, Florida—As Boeing begins to manufacture T-7A Red Hawk engineering and manufacturing development (EMD) aircraft for Air Force testing, the company still is using its two production-representative jets to collect data.
“We’re really leveraging those aircraft to get early insights into the qualification data for some of the testing,” Chuck Dabundo, T-7 vice president and program manager at Boeing, told Aerospace DAILY here Feb. 28 during the annual Air Warfare Symposium.
The company has made tweaks to the software for glitches discovered during testing but nothing requiring a hardware change. The design is nearly complete, Dabundo said.
Last week, the company restarted the Red Hawk’s engine and flew the jet for 48 sec. without the GE F404 turned on. This test is “a big deal for us to show all the subsystems performed like we expected them to, and it enables us to fly different part of the envelope,” Dabundo said.
The baseline contract includes five EMD jets and two structural test articles Boeing is focused on building this year with initial operational capability slated in 2024. “We’re in good shape to support the program of record,” Dabundo said.