Friday, September 18, 2015

Saab and Boeing tease their T-X

"That's it?"
Saab and Boeing have been pretty tight-lipped about their collaborative bid for the USAF's T-X program.  While other bidders have a preference for existing designs, Saab and Boeing have decided on a clean-sheet design that will most definitely not be a variant of the Gripen.

I have speculated on the Saab/Boeing T-X in the past.  So far, nothing seems to confirm or deny my guesstimates.

Saab and Boeing have been tight-lipped about about their upcoming trainer.  So much so that a recent conference display was by invitation only.  Its only release to the general public is the vague shot of the aircraft's nose that you see above.

While all this secrecy is infuriating to aviation buffs, its not entirely unexpected.  Saab and Boeing are taking the T-X competition very seriously and it does not want to give away too much to their competition.  Saab's CEO seems quite confident in the design however, and looks forward to cooperating with Boeing in the future.

Boeing previous T-X concept art.
The released picture does have a passing resemblance to Boeing's previous T-X concept art.  It is missing the leading edge extensions that extend to the the pilot, however.  The real question is what resides just outside the right side of the frame.

Top view of a two-seat Gripen for reference.
The revealed nose actually does resemble that of the two-seat Gripen, but with a "blunted" nose.  This makes sense as a trainer would not need a large nosecone to house a sophisticated radar.

Time will tell what the rest of the aircraft will look like.  Will it be canard-delta design like the Gripen?   A pelikan tail like that pictured in the early Boeing render?

Stay tuned...





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