Boeing’s T-X Begins EMD Flight Tests
The Boeing/Saab T-X was selected on 27 September 2018 by the Air Force as the winner of the Advanced Pilot Training System program to replace the aging Cold War-era Northrop T-38 Talon. In the below, the downright cute little twin tail trainer makes it first, official Engineering and Manufacturing Development (EMD) flight test in St. Louis, Mo.
The USAF currently has some 500~ T-38A/B/C models in inventory, with the newest example coming off the lines in 1972. It is envisioned that some 351 new T-X aircraft and 46 simulators are to be supplied by Boeing as part of the $9 billion program to put the venerable Talon to bed.
The T-X, which will hopefully get a cooler name at some point, could also go on to be a sweet little scooter for budget air defense/COIN if given underwing hardpoints, after all, Saab runs the Gripen and in the past developed the Viggen, Draken, Lansen, and Tunnan, which all had a solid pedigree. .
The T-X does look pretty sweet though. I vote for the T-60 Peashooter II as a name update, in honor of Boeing’s last cute little combat-ish trainer.