First T-7A Red Hawk Arrives At Edwards Air Force Base | Aviation

First T 7a Red Hawk Edwards Afb Arrival 1.jpg

The first T-7A Red Hawk, piloted by USAF test pilot Maj. Jonathan “Gremlin” Aronoff and Boeing test pilot Steve “Bull” Schmidt, soars over Edwards Air Force Base, California, Nov. 8, prior to arrival. (Air Force photo by Bryce Bennett)

The arrival marks the formal start of the Air Force’s developmental flight test campaign for the new trainer aircraft.

After struggling with multiple delays, the T-7A Red Hawk finally landed at Edwards Air Force Base, California, on Nov.8, 2023. The aircraft, known as APT-2, is the first production representative jet off the assembly line and was piloted by a joint U.S. Air Force and Boeing aircrew during a journey which included stops at Vance AFB, Oklaoma, Kirtland AFB, New Mexico and Luke AFB, Arizona, supported by one of Boeing’s Challenger 600 jets.

“The ferry to Edwards marks a major milestone for the T-7 Program as we enter Developmental Flight Test to find out just what this aircraft can do,” said Col. Kirt Cassell, Air Force Life Cycle Management Center T-7 Program Manager. “I’ve challenged the collective team to keep up the momentum and teamwork as we still have a long way to go.”

This milestone formally commences the Air Force’s developmental flight test campaign for the aircraft, aimed at fielding a replacement pilot training capability for the 1960’s-era Northrop T-38 Talon, which is quickly reaching the end of its service life after 60 years. The Air Force accepted the first of five T-7A Red Hawk Engineering, Manufacturing, and Development (EMD) aircraft from Boeing in September.

“This arrival marks an exciting transition into the next phase of developmental…

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