Ozair
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Re: Boeing Beats Lockheed for $9.2 Billion Air Force Trainer Program

Tue Feb 26, 2019 8:36 pm

himself wrote:
At the Avalon Air Show, Boeing is pitching the BTX for RAAF's next jet trainer.
https://www.janes.com/article/86844/ava ... quirements

Bottom paragraph
Outside of Australia, Breckenridge said Boeing is in discussions with "several" other international customers and that in the Asia-Pacific region there was a "lot of opportunity" for exports of the T-X trainer.

It is possible the RAAF will get the T-X but currently it seems more likely the RAAF will life extend the Hawk and push the retirement out to approx 2035. Lots of acquisition happening between now and 2025 and the life extension should be more budget friendly for the RAAF. Not sure how long the T-X will stay in production but I would a version to be available in the early 2030s.
 
Maliyanwalto
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Re: Boeing Beats Lockheed for $9.2 Billion Air Force Trainer Program

Thu Feb 28, 2019 4:12 am

Hello,
Certainly the RAAF will be watching the progress and development of the T-X (no word on its eventual designation and name yet?) but I wholeheartedly agree with Ozair that Australia is more likely to life-extend the Hawk than be an early purchaser if the T-X.
Keep smilin’
Maliyanwalto
 
Ozair
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Re: Boeing Beats Lockheed for $9.2 Billion Air Force Trainer Program

Mon Mar 11, 2019 8:13 pm

Although the RFT did not in the end specify light attack and aggressor roles it looks like the USAF is again considering the T-X for those mission sets. While the idea has merit it is probably worth just getting the aircraft into service in its T-X form before they start concerning themselves with additional variants.

US Air Force’s new trainer jet could become its next light-attack or aggressor aircraft

The U.S. Air Force’s new T-X jets could be more than just trainers, with aggressor or light-attack missions now on the table for the Boeing-made plane, the head of Air Combat Command said Thursday.

Although buying new T-X trainers to replace the more than 50-year-old T-38 fleet still remains a top priority for that program, the service is beginning to explore whether the T-X could be procured for other uses, Gen. Mike Holmes said at the Air Force Association’s Air Warfare Symposium.

“You could imagine a version of the airframe that could be equipped as a light fighter. You can imagine a version that is equipped as an adversary air-training platform,” he told reporters during a roundtable.

"At the informal level, I have some guys that work for me that are thinking through what the requirement might be for those different versions. When or if that transitions and becomes something more formal will depend on a lot of things,” he said, adding that one of those variables is the budget.

So what T-X variants could the Air Force pursue?

A light-attack T-X

The Air Force still hasn’t made clear its path forward on the light-attack experiment, but leaders have said they want to broaden the effort to include aircraft beyond the turboprop planes, which were the focus of the first experiments. The T-X, or a low-cost jet like it, could have a role, said Holmes, who declined to get into specifics until the fiscal 2020 budget is released with more details.

"An airplane like that, like all the airplanes that competed in the T-X category, an airplane like that at that size and cost per flying hour and capability is something I think we should definitely look at as we go forward in the experiment,” he said.

In the first round of light-attack experiments in 2017, the Air Force evaluated one light fighter —Textron’s Scorpion jet — but ultimately eschewed it in favor of turboprops like the A-29 and AT-6.

While the Scorpion brought with it some added capabilities that the turboprops couldn’t replicate — like increased speed and maneuverability, and an internal bay that can host a variety of plug-and-play sensors — the AT-6 and A-29 had two major advantages over the Scorpion. Both are cheaper to buy and already have existing production lines, while the Scorpion has not been purchased by any country.

Boeing’s T-X won’t be grappling with those same challenges. For one, the T-X trainer program gives it a built-in customer dedicated to buying at least 350 planes, covering the cost of setting up a production line and pushing down the price per plane.

Holmes also noted that Boeing incorporated its Black Diamond production initiative into the T-X design process. Black Diamond aims to drastically cut production costs by pulling in new manufacturing techniques and technologies from the company’s commercial side.

“Then if you look at the size of the fleet, if you have more airplanes that are based on a common platform, that almost always brings economies of scale that make it cheaper to operate those airplanes and sustain them for a long time,” Holmes added.

Still, an upgunned T-X may be more expensive from a cost standpoint, and it will have to be something that international militaries are interested in buying — and can afford.

“We don't have any conclusion about whether that would fit for what we're looking for at a cost point,” Holmes acknowledged. “And as [Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Dave Goldfein] talks about, the primary or at least one of the primary components of anything we're going to look at with light attack is going to be how our partners feel about it.”

An ‘aggressor’ T-X to play the baddie

The Air Force plans to award contracts this year to a number of companies that provide “red air” training that simulates how an adversary fights in air-to-air combat, but the service believes its requirement could grow even larger, necessitating the purchase of a new aggressor plane.

When the T-X program was still a competition between multiple companies, the Air Force downplayed the T-X as an option for a future aggressor aircraft. However, now that a contract has been awarded, the service is taking a look at whether the new trainer could fit requirements, Holmes said at the conference.

The Air Combat Command head spelled out his idea in more depth in a January article in War on the Rocks. The T-X is slated to replace the T-38 Talon, but because flying the Talon is more like operating a 1950s-era fighter than a modern one, only the most very basic fighter tactics can be learned in the seat of that trainer.

A T-X, with its flying and sensor capabilities, is much closer to a modern day fighter, and Holmes hypothesized that much of the training that occurs once a pilot starts flying an F-15, F-16, F-22 or F-35 could actually be done inside the T-X.

It could also take over “some of or all of the adversary aircraft training requirements for nearby fighter units,” he wrote.

“This accelerated seasoning and increased adversary air sortie generation is possible because the T-X’s lower operating cost — presently expected to be less than half the cost per hour of a fourth-generation fighter, and perhaps a fifth the cost of a fifth-generation fighter — allows the pilots to train more for the same, or less, cost.”

https://www.defensenews.com/digital-sho ... -aircraft/
 
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bikerthai
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Re: Boeing Beats Lockheed for $9.2 Billion Air Force Trainer Program

Tue Mar 12, 2019 1:51 pm

Ozair wrote:
While the idea has merit it is probably worth just getting the aircraft into service in its T-X form before they start concerning themselves with additional variants.


If they are thinking about it now, they may be able to get a good RFP/Q out by the time the design team completes the build of the first production T-X. We all see how slow the pace of government can be, so it doesn't hurt to start the planning for the next stage now.

bt
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rlwynn
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Re: Boeing Beats Lockheed for $9.2 Billion Air Force Trainer Program

Tue Mar 12, 2019 8:15 pm

A single seat F414 version would be cool.
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Ozair
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Re: Boeing Beats Lockheed for $9.2 Billion Air Force Trainer Program

Wed Mar 13, 2019 12:00 am

rlwynn wrote:
A single seat F414 version would be cool.

An interesting question. Three of the four entrants in the selection used the F404 and both the clean sheet designs by Boeing and NG, before it was withdrawn, used that engine instead of the F414.

Why use of the F404 instead of the F414? Probably less maintenance and lower fuel burn governed that decision as both would be able to lower the total life cycle costs of the engine and therefore the tender bid. The F404 has a good safety record and certainly no worse that and F414. Someone more knowledgeable than I on these engines may be able to provide some other reasons but it is clear the F404 decision was a conscious one given the F414 was easily and readily available.
 
LightningZ71
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Re: Boeing Beats Lockheed for $9.2 Billion Air Force Trainer Program

Wed Mar 13, 2019 4:01 pm

The 404 is also about 200 lbs lighter and roughly 25% less expensive per unit to purchase. Do we know which variant of the 404 was chosen for the T-X? The IN version was a 19K lb capable unit that retained a lot of the desirable bits of the original while improving in some key areas.
 
aumaverick
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Re: Boeing Beats Lockheed for $9.2 Billion Air Force Trainer Program

Thu Apr 25, 2019 5:32 pm

Any further news or insight into what the USAF plans to designate the Boeing T-X trainer?
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Ozair
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Re: Boeing Beats Lockheed for $9.2 Billion Air Force Trainer Program

Tue May 07, 2019 10:59 pm

No surprise that the Navy and Marines are looking at the T-X but they are in no hurry nor should they be. It makes sense to use the same aircraft where possible and it is looking increasingly likely that the T-X will have an aggressor role. Be interesting to see what modifications they may make to allow that to happen, perhaps with a higher thrust engine, increased fuel carriage etc.

If they get this right Boeing is going to do very well out of T-X, not just domestically but with the potential for a decent number of export orders.

The Air Force’s new trainer jet is attracting the Navy’s and Marine Corps’ interests

The U.S. Navy and Marine Corps are monitoring the development of the Air Force’s T-X training jet, but it may be years before they can launch their own competitions to replace the T-45, officials said Monday.

“We’re watching the T-X. Obviously the Air Force is going through that process,” Lt. Gen. Steven Rudder, the Marine Corps’ deputy commandant for aviation, said during a panel at the Navy League’s Sea-Air-Space conference.

...

Angie Knappenberger, the Navy’s deputy director of air warfare, said the timing of a T-X buy could be “problematic” because of the current schedule of the TH-57 replacement, which is taking priority over a new jet trainer.

“Once we’re able to accomplish that — the helicopter trainer replacement — then we’re going to look more forward to something like the T-45 replacement. T-X would certainly be in the running as a candidate for something like that,” she said.

The Navy in January released a request for proposals for the TH-57 replacement, kick-starting a competition with Airbus, Bell and Leonardo that could potentially lead to a contract awarded this year. The service wants to buy 130 helicopter trainers from FY20 to FY23.

Knappenberger did not elaborate on why the timing of the T-X program could be challenging for the Navy, but the service plans to finish purchasing new helicopter trainers just as Boeing starts producing and delivering T-Xs to the Air Force. Another key factor may be whether the T-X can be outfitted with the gear necessary for taking off from and landing on aircraft carriers, and how quickly Boeing could complete the engineering work involved.

Like Rudder, Knappenberger noted the appeal of buying enough T-X trainers to fill the service’s adversary air requirements, saying she’s “curious to see” the jet’s red air capabilities.

...

https://www.defensenews.com/digital-sho ... rce=clavis

More at the link.
 
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Devilfish
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Re: Boeing Beats Lockheed for $9.2 Billion Air Force Trainer Program

Wed May 08, 2019 2:43 pm

SAAB says the T-X manufacturing facility will be built in West Lafayette, Indiana...and disclosed the type of activities to be done there.....

https://www.flightglobal.com/news/artic ... rk-458011/


Image
https://www.flightglobal.com/assets/get ... emid=77352
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RetiredWeasel
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Re: Boeing Beats Lockheed for $9.2 Billion Air Force Trainer Program

Wed May 08, 2019 3:00 pm

Ozair wrote:
No surprise that the Navy and Marines are looking at the T-X but they are in no hurry nor should they be. It makes sense to use the same aircraft where possible and it is looking increasingly likely that the T-X will have an aggressor role. Be interesting to see what modifications they may make to allow that to happen, perhaps with a higher thrust engine, increased fuel carriage etc.



"Higher Thrust Engines"?? Heck if you believe the numbers Boeing put out for the TX, then it already has a higher thrust to weight ratio than F-15Cs in full burner. I was discussing the thrust number on the TX with an ex UPT instructor who has high time in T-38Cs and he stated that except for a few sorties, every takeoff at UPT with students will be mil power. No sense pissing away fuel when it can be used more effectively in training maneuvers.
 
Ozair
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Re: Boeing Beats Lockheed for $9.2 Billion Air Force Trainer Program

Wed May 08, 2019 9:22 pm

RetiredWeasel wrote:
Ozair wrote:
No surprise that the Navy and Marines are looking at the T-X but they are in no hurry nor should they be. It makes sense to use the same aircraft where possible and it is looking increasingly likely that the T-X will have an aggressor role. Be interesting to see what modifications they may make to allow that to happen, perhaps with a higher thrust engine, increased fuel carriage etc.



"Higher Thrust Engines"?? Heck if you believe the numbers Boeing put out for the TX, then it already has a higher thrust to weight ratio than F-15Cs in full burner. I was discussing the thrust number on the TX with an ex UPT instructor who has high time in T-38Cs and he stated that except for a few sorties, every takeoff at UPT with students will be mil power. No sense pissing away fuel when it can be used more effectively in training maneuvers.

Interesting comments. I expect as the jet moves closer to a final design there will be additional systems that will increase the weight and bring that ratio down a bit but still very impressive. The suggestion on higher thrust was primarily for the aggressor role where some red air manoeuvres would benefit from it, such as high fast flyer.
 
JayinKitsap
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Re: Boeing Beats Lockheed for $9.2 Billion Air Force Trainer Program

Thu May 16, 2019 8:19 pm

An article in Airforce Magazine on the T-X, some notable highlights:
- same cockpit display as on the F-15EX's being produced for Qutar.
- Saab building the aft fuselage while Boeing is building the cockpit forward, the wings, and empennage.
- Build rate 48 per year, with other sales could reach 60 per year.
- Airplane and trainer to have the same software, updated at the same time. Apps can be added simply.
- Plane pulls more than 8g.
- Most access panels open tool free.

http://www.airforcemag.com/Features/Pag ... craft.aspx
 
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Revelation
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Re: Boeing Beats Lockheed for $9.2 Billion Air Force Trainer Program

Sun Jul 07, 2019 5:38 pm

Interesting article at https://aviationweek.com/defense/boeing ... st-program

Boeing has started the T-X flight test program for the engineering, manufacturing and development (EMD) program with the first two modified, company-funded prototypes, while the final version of the EMD aircraft remain in detailed design.

The early test points collected by the first two T-X aircraft, which have resumed flying after a months-long hiatus, are possible because there are no outer mold line changes between Boeing’s company-funded prototypes and the EMD design.

Nice to see the TX prototype is pretty representative of the final article.

The critical design review for the final EMD version of the aircraft should be completed by year’s end, allowing Boeing to start assembly of the first Air Force-funded test aircraft.

The Air Force hopes to take advantage of Boeing’s bold bidding and design approach on the T-X to dramatically reduce the number of test points and buy up to 125 more aircraft than currently budgeted with the contractual savings, Rutledge said.

Boeing and rear fuselage supplier Saab applied an advanced form of model-based systems engineering to the design of the T-X. Instead of developing three-dimensional loads and aerodynamic models of parts of the aircraft, Boeing applied the engineering approach throughout the aircraft, including line replaceable units.

Less testing? Who is going to make the obvious MCAS joke first?
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himself
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Re: Boeing Beats Lockheed for $9.2 Billion Air Force Trainer Program

Fri Jul 12, 2019 10:57 pm

Interesting article in Air Force Magazine:
http://www.airforcemag.com/MagazineArch ... e-T-X.aspx

Some highlights:
- 3D design software let them use a 'virtual wind tunnel' to reduce time in the real wind tunnel
- Boeing had full trust in the model to “represent full-scale flight with the computational fluid dynamics, because it continues to advance.”
- Design & manufacturing was so precise, pieces fit together way better than expected
- 80% reduction in touch labor and rework reduced to 0.03%
- The first two are “the most identical jets we’ve ever built.”
- Airplane #2 flew within 24 hours of the first flight
 
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Revelation
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Re: Boeing Beats Lockheed for $9.2 Billion Air Force Trainer Program

Fri Jul 12, 2019 11:37 pm

himself wrote:
Interesting article in Air Force Magazine:
http://www.airforcemag.com/MagazineArch ... e-T-X.aspx

Some highlights:
- 3D design software let them use a 'virtual wind tunnel' to reduce time in the real wind tunnel
- Boeing had full trust in the model to “represent full-scale flight with the computational fluid dynamics, because it continues to advance.”
- Design & manufacturing was so precise, pieces fit together way better than expected
- 80% reduction in touch labor and rework reduced to 0.03%
- The first two are “the most identical jets we’ve ever built.”
- Airplane #2 flew within 24 hours of the first flight

Extremely impressive, especially the last item you listed.

From TFA:

The 3-D models translated into parts so precisely tooled that pieces fit perfectly together on Day One. “This allows us to have a shimless design,” Niewald said. “We had one master tool on the program, and the parts were self-locating. This allowed us to have something like a 75 percent increase in first-time parts quality.” Among parts suppliers, “everybody knew what their interfaces were.”

Computer-aided design and modeling has existed for decades, but the level of fidelity possible today is greater. By applying “dimensional management and dimensional analysis on the parts, we knew with certainty that when the parts were manufactured and came together, they would come together just as we had modeled,” Niewald said.

Parts came back “one-time, first-time quality. It comes back, it fits together.”

Imagine this tech applied to an airliner.

Plenty of media reports suggest that NMA will be that airliner.

Parker said the Air Force acquisition leadership is committed to getting equipment to the user faster than ever, and the T-X will be a way to “challenge the bureaucracy… [on] how industry and government supercharges how we do things.”

OK, maybe now he's going too far! :biggrin:
Wake up to find out that you are the eyes of the world
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Ozair
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Re: Boeing Beats Lockheed for $9.2 Billion Air Force Trainer Program

Fri Jul 12, 2019 11:41 pm

himself wrote:
Interesting article in Air Force Magazine:
http://www.airforcemag.com/MagazineArch ... e-T-X.aspx

Some highlights:
- 3D design software let them use a 'virtual wind tunnel' to reduce time in the real wind tunnel
- Boeing had full trust in the model to “represent full-scale flight with the computational fluid dynamics, because it continues to advance.”
- Design & manufacturing was so precise, pieces fit together way better than expected
- 80% reduction in touch labor and rework reduced to 0.03%
- The first two are “the most identical jets we’ve ever built.”
- Airplane #2 flew within 24 hours of the first flight

Interesting article, thanks for posting. Boeing is certainly confident, lets hope that actually translates to capability and not another KC-46 saga.
 
JayinKitsap
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Re: Boeing Beats Lockheed for $9.2 Billion Air Force Trainer Program

Sat Jul 13, 2019 1:59 am

Ozair wrote:
himself wrote:
Interesting article in Air Force Magazine:
http://www.airforcemag.com/MagazineArch ... e-T-X.aspx

Some highlights:
- 3D design software let them use a 'virtual wind tunnel' to reduce time in the real wind tunnel
- Boeing had full trust in the model to “represent full-scale flight with the computational fluid dynamics, because it continues to advance.”
- Design & manufacturing was so precise, pieces fit together way better than expected
- 80% reduction in touch labor and rework reduced to 0.03%
- The first two are “the most identical jets we’ve ever built.”
- Airplane #2 flew within 24 hours of the first flight

Interesting article, thanks for posting. Boeing is certainly confident, lets hope that actually translates to capability and not another KC-46 saga.


OMG, please not another KC-46. If Boeing can really do a snap together plane that is incredible. Did you see the article noted an 80% reduction in labor! So far it looks good, the 2 test frames are going for EMD flight testing because there has been no change in the wetted surfaces. Minimal wind tunnel, no prototype, the 2nd plane flew 24 hours after the 1st, no change in the metal. Quite impressive.

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