First T-6B Texan IIs delivered to US Navy
Late last week the US Navy welcomed its first two Hawker Beechcraft T-6Bs at Naval Air Station Whiting Field. IOC with the upgraded trainer is targeted for April 2010.
The arrival of the Texan signals the official start of the turnover from the venerable T-34C Turbo Mentor to the T-6B for primary flight training under Training Air Wing (TRAWING) 5. The T-34C training aircraft was implemented in 1977 and is aging. TRAWING-5 will continue receiving new aircraft at the rate of about one per week until the transition is completed in 2015.
Initially, the new aircraft will be used for training instructor pilots. Student pilots from Training Squadron 3 are expected to begin flying the new aircraft in April 2010.
The T-6B avionics upgrade combines the best of the highly successful T-6A primary trainer, in use today by the U.S. Air Force and U.S. Navy, with a glass cockpit configuration that includes three multi-function displays, hands-on-throttle-and-stick functionality, and Head-Up Display. The T-6B provides primary pilot training with enhanced capabilities in air-to-air and air-to-ground mission areas.