#TrainerTuesday – Flight of the Goshawk

#TrainerTuesday - Flight of the Goshawk

I recently re-read Douglas C. Waller’s excellent book Air Warriors, The Inside Story of the Making of a Navy Pilot. So for #trainertuesday, I wanted to feature Naval Aviation, and more specifically, the T-45 Goshawk, the Navy’s jet trainer.
Introduced in 1991, the Goshawk is a modified version of BAE System’s Hawk

Here, four T-45s from Training Airwing One and Two perform a formation fly-by of aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75) on Feb. 4, 2007
U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Kristopher Wilson

1 Comment on #TrainerTuesday – Flight of the Goshawk

  1. What became the T-45 airplane started as the VTX Training System. The idea was to build a training system of airplane, flight simulation, classroom training systems/materials, the training syllabus and a management system to help it all work efficiently. It was not an airplane program. The airplanes were either derivatives of existing aircraft or blank paper originals. The existing aircraft derivatives were based on the T-2C, the Alphajet and the Hawk. Aeromachi had a possible contender that didn’t really post. New aircraft designs were developed by Lockheed, Grumman, McDonnell Douglas, and Northrop. Because of ” affordability issues ” (there never is enough money for trainers) the new design aircraft were not cost competitive. This was a little unfortunate because we looked at including things like control configured vehicle technology from Calspan that would allow us to have an aircraft plain enough for a new student fresh from T-34s to handle yet hot enough to provide performance comparable to the F/A-18 as the students worked their way toward their fleet seat.

    During the gestation of the program the existing aircraft derivative systems competed on the basis of training performance and acquisition and life cycle cost. after the new designs were deemed too costly. Alphajet (Dornier teamed with Lockheed) lost out to Douglas / BAE. To build a naval Hawk bulkheads were strengthened as well as several length wise structures that stood in for the usual Navy aircraft keel. The forward fuselage from rear of cockpit forward was a complete new design to hold the nose tow launch dual wheel nose gear, crew positions and avionics. Carrier suitability was predicted to be acceptable with predictable and straightforward handling around the boat. Curricula were developed by the companies and were similar to other fast jet curricula around the world in terms of flying hours in different areas of instruction conducted either in aircraft or in simulators. Flight hours were saved by using more high quality simulation but extreme substitution of simulated for real flight was avoided. Looking at trainer aircraft in US and other air forces generally aircraft used were 2 seat versions of the previous generation of tactical aircraft, rather than an aircraft designed as a piece of training equipment. T-45 was an attempt to do this, but the economics of the time foiled plans for a clean sheet design, although the first years of the program planning and development used the training media point of view for the aircraft by the class desk, at least to the program people’s faces.


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