ST. LOUIS, Feb. 12, 2008 -- The Boeing Company [NYSE: BA] is celebrating a milestone for the T-45 Goshawk, the U.S. Navy's premier jet trainer aircraft, which this week flew its 800,000th hour in its 15th year of service with the Naval Air Training Command. The twin-seat, single-engine Goshawk prepares student aviators to transition to front-line Navy and Marine Corps fleet aircraft.
"No one is born an aviator -- you become one," said Capt. Charles "Win" Everett, T-45 program manager for the Navy. "Training in the T-45 is one of the most important steps a future Navy pilot takes. It's a major accomplishment to rack up 800,000 flight- hours, but there will be many more such milestones, because this airplane will be around for a long, long time."
Barbara Wilson, director and program manager for T-45 Training Systems at Boeing, added, "This is a proud day for our 350-member team. We consider it an honor to support naval air training, one of the Navy's most critical missions, and will continue to refine an aircraft that has proven itself reliable, economical and maintainable over its 15 years of service."
The Goshawk is a component of the fully integrated T-45 training system, which comprises high-fidelity instrument and flight simulators, computer-assisted classroom learning, an automated training-management asset and contractor logistics support. More than 3,000 student aviators from the Navy, Marine Corps and several international militaries have received instruction on the system at naval air stations in Meridian, Miss., and Kingsville, Texas, before earning their coveted "Wings of Gold."
Described by instructor-pilots who fly it as "eminently forgiving," the T-45 is the only jet trainer designed to land routinely at sink rates of greater than 700 feet per minute, which are required for aircraft carrier-approach landings.
Boeing recently rolled out the 207th Goshawk from its St. Louis assembly facility, with a total of 221 currently under contract. The company has continually upgraded the aircraft with features such as leading-edge wing slats for better low-speed performance; high-gain nose-wheel steering for safer taxiing on crowded flight decks; and a reinforced composite stabilizer with increased span for better pitch control.
Boeing builds the T-45 in partnership with BAE Systems, which supplies the rear and center fuselage sections, wing assembly and main landing gear. Rolls-Royce provides the Adour Mk 851 turbofan power plant.
Source: Boeing-built U.S. Navy T-45 Jet Trainer Achieves 800,000 Flight-Hours of Service
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