Saab-Built Structure for Flight Test Article
Saab has shipped the second aft airframe section for the T-7A RED HAWK, destined for use in the flight test programme, the company announced on 27 July.
This component was manufactured in Linköping, Sweden, but on completion of the programme’s Engineering and Manufacturing Development (EMD) production phase, Saab’s brand-new facility in West Lafayette, IN, will undertake production of the aft airframe sections.
“T-7A demonstrates Saab’s approach to international growth and underpins our position as a world-class aircraft company and unique business partner. Together with Boeing, we are achieving our ambitious vision: to redefine what a trainer jet is, and to do so through digital engineering. This represents yet another milestone in delivering on our commitments,” explained Jonas Hjelm, SVP and head of Saab business area Aeronautics.
Boeing will splice aft and front sections, wings, fins and tail assembly to become a complete test aircraft for use in the EMD flight test programme. The aft section with installed subsystems – hydraulics, fuel and secondary power system – forms the centre structure of the aircraft from behind the cockpit to the end of the aircraft.
Saab delivered its first T-7A aft airframe section in April, for assembly as a ground-based structural testing aircraft. On arriving in St Louis, it was joined perfectly with the front fuselage in less than 30 minutes. That achievement is a testament to the use of digital design and engineering, which delivers accuracy, efficiency and improved quality across the entire T-7A programme.
The RED HAWK is an all-new, advanced pilot training system designed for the US Air Force to train the next generation of combat pilots for decades to come. The aircraft has benefited from Saab and Boeing’s ‘breaking the norm’ approach to military aircraft design, engineering and production, which saw the preceding T-X aircraft go from concept to first flight in just 36 months.