The T-45A aircraft, the Navy version of the British Aerospace Hawk aircraft, is used for intermediate and advanced portions of the Navy pilot training program for jet carrier aviation and tactical strike missions. The latest version of the aircraft, known as the T-45C, includes a digital cockpit.
The T-45 replaces the T-2 Buckeye trainer and the TA-4 trainer with an integrated training system that includes the T-45 Goshawk aircraft, operations and instrument fighter simulators, academics, and training integration system. The T-45 Goshawk replaced the TA-4J Skyhawk in the Advanced Jet Training Program and replaces the T-2 Buckeye in the Intermediate Jet Pilot Training Program. The Goshawk Training System combines academic, simulation, and flight phases into an integrated computer-based training approach that greatly improves training efficiency and safety.
The primary mission of the T-45 is to provide Navy strike flight training. The aircraft provides the capability to train student naval aviators for high performance jet aircraft and to qualify students for a standard instrument rating and initial carrier qualification. In addition, the aircraft supports training in fundamental tactical skills, emphasizing the development of habit patterns, self confidence, and judgment required for safe and efficient transition to fleet aircraft with advanced technology weapon systems.
The T-45 Training System (T-45TS) is the first totally integrated undergraduate jet pilot training system. It consists of five elements: instructional programs using computer-assisted techniques; advanced flight simulators; the T-45 aircraft; a Training Integration System (TIS); and contractor logistics support package. The training system elements build upon each other to teach pilot skills progressively and logically.
All required flight training knowledge and basic aviation skills are taught in electronic classrooms and with computer-assisted instruction using sophisticated animation techniques. These skills are then refined in high fidelity simulators where students practice T-45 cockpit procedures, and instrument and visual flight techniques. Validation of these skills then occurs rapidly and safely in the T-45A aircraft. The TIS coordinates and tracks all training activities, including the scheduling of instructors, equipment and students. It tracks students' progress and maintains their records while analyzing the training activities. Contractor logistics support is an integral part of the T45TS, with Boeing Aircraft Company providing the maintenance of all system elements (air and ground) as well as all logistic support.
The T-45A Goshawk is powered by a single Rolls-Royce/Turbomeca Adour turbofan engine, producing a sea level static thrust of 5527 pounds. The wing is low mounted and moderately swept, with full span leading edge slats and double slotted trailing edge flaps. The single vertical stabilizer and horizontal stabilator are both of swept design, with the vertical stabilizer integrating a mechanically powered rudder and control augmentation system for all speed flight. Speed brakes are mounted on the aft fuselage just forward of the stabilator. All control surfaces, with the exception of the rudder, are hydraulically powered.
Two wing pylons permit carriage and delivery of a variety of training weapons, including Mk-76 practice bombs. Five external stores stations accommodate a wide variety of weapons, including a 30mm gun pod as one of the alternates on the fuselage centerline station. The cockpit is air conditioned and pressurized, accommodating two aircrew in a tandem seating arrangement. The instructor is in a raised position behind the student, both under a large single-piece, sideway-opening canopy, providing excellent visibility. Each cockpit is fitted with the Martin-Baker Navy Aircrew Common Ejection Seat (NACES) affording safe escape from zero airspeed and zero altitude. Maximum weight for the T-45A is approximately 15,000 pounds. The aircraft is capable of achieving an airspeed of 0.85 Mach at 30,000 feet in level flight.
While construction was fairly conventional, every effort was devoted to improving the reliability and maintainability of the new trainer through appropriate selection of operating system design and components and their installation.
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