Air Force’s T-7 Red Hawk Undergoes New Round of Testing

Trials at a climatic lab will verify system functionality during operations conducted in extreme temperatures.

The U.S. Air Force’s new Boeing T-7A Red Hawk trainer is undergoing climate chamber testing in Florida, the service announced Tuesday.

A series of testing is underway at the McKinley Climatic Lab at Eglin Air Force Base, Florida, to verify T-7A system functionality during periods of extreme temperatures. During the tests, performance of the T-7’s propulsion, hydraulic, fuel, electrical, secondary power, and overall operations will be evaluated in conditions ranging from minus-25 degrees to 100 degrees Fahrenheit.

The Red Hawk is set to replace the 1960s-era T-38 trainer for Air Force fighter and bomber pilot flight training. Its iconic red-tail livery honors the Tuskegee Airmen of World War II, the U.S. Army Air Forces’ first Black aviation unit. 

U.S. Air Force Brigadier General Jeffrey Geraghty, 96th Test Wing commander, and Lieutenant Colonel Mary Clark, 96th Operations Group deputy commander, talk with Jeffery Hays, 416th Flight Test Squadron lead flight mechanic for the T-7 Red Hawk, at Eglin Air Force Base, Florida, on December 18. [Courtesy: U.S. Air Force] 

Last month, the advanced trainer made its first cross-country flight to Edwards Air Force Base in California for flight testing.

“The Red Hawk must withstand a range of environments from sitting on the ground in the Texas heat to flying at altitude,” Troy Hoeger, Air Force Life Cycle Management Center’s T-7A chief developmental tester, said in a statement. “The climatic lab helps us do this in a deliberate and methodical way and will give us confidence that our new aircraft meets requirements.” 

The $9.2 billion Air Force program includes the purchase of 351 Boeing T-7A jets, 46 simulators, and support.


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