The Air Force desperately needs a replacement for its 50-year-old T-38 training jets, which no longer are capable of adequately preparing pilots to fly frontline fighters. The service is running a competition called T-X to find that replacement, and one of the three industry teams competing for the prize is led by Boeing. Boeing’s biggest challenge in the competition is to differentiate its solution — which includes ground training equipment such as simulators — from the offerings of the other teams. It began that process by deciding to offer a clean-sheet aircraft design rather than a modified off-the-shelf plane. But there are other things Boeing then had to do, and it will not know whether those moves were adequate until the Air Force announces who won the T-X competition this summer. I have written a commentary for Forbes here.
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