BOEING DEFENCE and Space has given a sneak preview of its clean-sheet design, developed in conjunction with Saab, for the US Air Force’s T-X advanced pilot trainer competition. On August 22, the US manufacturer launched a Boeing T-X promotional website, which includes artist’s concepts and related videos.
These show the type to have a shoulder-mounted wing with a slight anhedral and fuselage-mounted main undercarriage. No specific details have yet been released by Boeing, but the company says more will be revealed during an unveiling ceremony scheduled for September 13 at the company’s Eagle and Super hornet production facility in St Louis, Missouri.
Only days earlier, Northrop Grumman’s rival contender for the requirement, also a clean sheet design, broke cover. Built by Scaled Composites in its facility at Mojave, California, the Model 400, N400NT (c/n 001), was seen at Mojave on August 19 performing high-speed taxi tests. No details regarding this aircraft have been announced, but the FAA registration details show that it has a General Electric F104-GE-102D engine.
The F404-GE-102 is the powerplant for the KAI T-50 Golden Eagle, an upgraded T-50A variant of which is being offered by Lockheed Martin and KAI for the T-X requirement. The fourth and final aircraft competing for the T-X is the T-100, a variant of the Leonardo-Alenia Aermacchi M-346 Master, which is being offered by Raytheon, teamed with Honeywell and CAE.