T-6A Texan II: Aircraft profile

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The T-6A Texan II is a single-engine, two-seat primary trainer designed to train Joint Primary Pilot Training, or JPPT, students in basic flying skills common to U.S. Air Force and Navy pilots.

T-6A Texan II: RANDOLPH AIR FORCE BASE, Texas -- The T-6A Texan II is a single-engine, two-seat primary trainer designed to train Joint Primary Pilot Training, or JPPT, students in basic flying skills common to U.S. Air Force and Navy pilots.T-6A Texan II: RANDOLPH AIR FORCE BASE, Texas -- The T-6A Texan II is a single-engine, two-seat primary trainer designed to train Joint Primary Pilot Training, or JPPT, students in basic flying skills common to U.S. Air Force and Navy pilots.

Features

Produced by Raytheon Aircraft, the T-6A Texan II is a military trainer version of Raytheon's Beech/Pilatus PC-9 Mk II.

Stepped-tandem seating in the single cockpit places one crewmember in front of the other, with the student and instructor positions being interchangeable. A pilot may also fly the aircraft alone from the front seat. Pilots enter the T-6A cockpit through a side-opening, one-piece canopy that has demonstrated resistance to bird strikes at speeds up to 270 knots.

The T-6A has a Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A-68 turbo-prop engine that delivers 1,100 horsepower. Because of its excellent thrust-to-weight ratio, the aircraft can perform an initial climb of 3,100 feet (944.8 meters) per minute and can reach 18,000 feet (5,486.4 meters) in less than six minutes.

The aircraft is fully aerobatic and features a pressurized cockpit with an anti-G system, ejection seat and an advanced avionics package with sunlight-readable liquid crystal displays.

T-6A Texan II: OVER LAUGHLIN AIR FORCE BASE, Texas -- Two T-6A Texan IIs fly in formation over the base here May 19. The T-6A Texan II is replacing the T-37 Tweet as the primary trainer for Air Force pilots. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Jeffrey Allen)T-6A Texan II: OVER LAUGHLIN AIR FORCE BASE, Texas -- Two T-6A Texan IIs fly in formation over the base here May 19. The T-6A Texan II is replacing the T-37 Tweet as the primary trainer for Air Force pilots. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Jeffrey Allen)

Background

Before being formally named in 1997, the T-6A was identified in a 1989 Department of Defense Trainer Aircraft Master Plan as the aircraft portion of the Joint Primary Aircraft Training System, or JPATS. The system includes a suite of simulators, training devices and a training integration management system.

On Feb. 5, 1996, Raytheon was awarded the JPATS acquisition and support contracts. The first operational T-6A arrived at Randolph Air Force Base, Texas, in May 2000. The full rate production contract awarded in December 2001.

The T-6A will be used to train JPPT students, providing the basic skills necessary to progress to one of four training tracks: the Air Force bomber-fighter or the Navy strike track, the Air Force airlift-tanker or Navy maritime track, the Air Force or Navy turboprop track and the Air Force-Navy helicopter track.

Instructor pilot training in the T-6A began at Randolph in 2000. JPPT began in October 2001 at Moody Air Force Base, Ga.

General Characteristics

Primary Function: Entry-level trainer in joint primary pilot training

Builder: Raytheon Aircraft Co.
Powerplant: 1,100 horsepower Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A-68 turbo-prop engine
Wingspan: 33.5 feet (10.19 meters)
Length: 33.4 feet (10.16 meters)
Height: 10.7 feet (3.23 meters)
Speed: 320 miles per hour
Standard Basic Empty Weight: 6,500 pounds (2,955 kilograms)
Ceiling: 31,000 feet (9448.8 meters)
Range: 900 nautical miles (1,667 kilometers)
Crew: Two, student pilot and instructor pilot
Armament: None
Date Deployed: May 2000
Unit Cost: $4.272 million
Inventory: Active force, 454 aircraft by 2010 (current acquisition plans)

Source: US Air Force

T-6A Texan II: RANDOLPH AIR FORCE BASE, Texas -- Maj. Todd Daggett, T-6A Texan II Demonstration Team show pilot and team chief, flies low and fast in Air Education and Training Command's newest trainer. (U.S. Air Force photo by O.J. Sanchez)T-6A Texan II: RANDOLPH AIR FORCE BASE, Texas -- Maj. Todd Daggett, T-6A Texan II Demonstration Team show pilot and team chief, flies low and fast in Air Education and Training Command's newest trainer. (U.S. Air Force photo by O.J. Sanchez)

Detailed background:

Source: wikipedia.org

The Beechcraft T-6 Texan II is a single-engined turboprop aircraft built by the Raytheon Aircraft Company (now Hawker Beechcraft). It is used by the United States Air Force for basic pilot training and by the United States Navy for Primary and Intermediate Joint Naval Flight Officer (NFO) and Air Force Navigator / Weapon Systems Officer (WSO) training. It is replacing the Air Force's T-37B Tweet and the Navy's T-34C Turbo Mentor. The T-6A is also used as a basic trainer by the Canadian Forces (CT-156 Harvard II) and the Greek Air Force.

Design and development

The T-6 is a development of the Pilatus PC-9, modified significantly by Beechcraft in order to enter the Joint Primary Aircraft Training System (JPATS) competition in the 1990s. A similar arrangement between Pilatus and British Aerospace had also been in place for an Royal Air Force competition in the 1980s, although this competition selected the Shorts Tucano. The aircraft was designated under the 1962 United States Tri-Service aircraft designation system and named for the decades-earlier T-6 Texan. The Beechcraft brand has since been purchased from Raytheon by Onex Corporation as Hawker Beechcraft.

The Texan II is built by Hawker Beechcraft in Wichita, Kansas. Although the design is heavily based on the Pilatus PC-9, the T-6 is a complete redesign from the ground up, and is considerably more sophisticated and powerful. Operational history

T-6A Texan II: OVER LAUGHLIN AIR FORCE BASE, Texas -- A T-6A Texan II pilot flies in formation with another T-6A here May 19. The Texan II is replacing the T-37 Tweet as the primary trainer for Air Force pilots. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Jeffrey Allen)T-6A Texan II: OVER LAUGHLIN AIR FORCE BASE, Texas -- A T-6A Texan II pilot flies in formation with another T-6A here May 19. The Texan II is replacing the T-37 Tweet as the primary trainer for Air Force pilots. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Jeffrey Allen)

T-6A

The T-6A was introduced to Moody Air Force Base and Randolph Air Force Base in 2000-2001, and the Air Force awarded the full rate T-6 production contract in December 2001. Laughlin Air Force Base began flying the T-6 in 2003 where it is now the primary basic trainer, having completely replaced the venerable T-37. Vance Air Force Base completed transitioning from the T-37 to the T-6 in 2006. That year, Columbus Air Force Base began its transition, and will retire its last T-37 in April 2008. T-37s are still in service at Sheppard Air Force Base, and are expected to retire in 2008.

The T-6A also replaced all T-34s at Naval Air Station Pensacola in early 2005. T-34s are still in service at NAS Corpus Christi and NAS Whiting Field as the primary trainer.

One Texan II costs approximately 6 million dollars. Almost a quarter of this cost goes into two advanced, highly reliable Martin-Baker ejection seats, which have the capability for zero-zero ejection. T-6B

The T-6B variant of the Texan II was introduced in 2005. One of the most important features of the T-6B is its highly advanced, all-glass cockpit from CMC Electronics that includes a Head-Up Display (HUD), six Multi-function display (MFD) and Hands On Throttle And Stick (HOTAS).

Both the Greek T-6A and the T-6B variants have the capability to carry and deploy munitions, including bombs, rockets, and wing-mountable guns. The T-6B also features additional onboard systems for combat training. The T-6B could be a versatile primary weapons trainer, or even an operational light attack aircraft, given its excellent handling characteristics and available excess thrust. According to Raytheon, the T-6B is now available for order, although a price has not been specified and no customers have been listed yet.

AT-6

The AT-6 is a follow-on to the T-6B. The aircraft includes the same HOTAS and digital display format as the T-6B, but is upgraded to include datalink and integrated electro-optical sensors along with several weapons configurations.

CT-156 Harvard II

The CT-156 Harvard II is a variant used for pilot instruction in the NFTC (NATO Flying Training in Canada) located at 15 Wing, Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan. They are leased to the Canadian Forces Air Command by the program's administrator, Bombardier. Cockpit layout, ejection protocols, and performance mimic the CT-155 Hawk jet trainer also used by the NTFC. The NFTC has 24 Harvard II aircraft owned and maintained by Bombardier.

Variants

T-6A Texan II
T-6B Texan II
CT-156 Harvard II

Operators

Canada

* Canadian Forces
o 2 CFFTS, CFB Moose Jaw

Greece

* Greek Air Force

United States

* United States Air Force

o Air Education and Training Command
+ 12th Flying Training Wing - Randolph Air Force Base, Texas
# 559th Flying Training Squadron
+ 14th Flying Training Wing - Columbus Air Force Base, Mississippi
# 37th Flying Training Squadron
# 41st Flying Training Squadron
+ 47th Flying Training Wing - Laughlin Air Force Base, Texas
# 84th Flying Training Squadron
# 85th Flying Training Squadron
+ 71st Flying Training Wing - Vance Air Force Base, Oklahoma
# 8th Flying Training Squadron
# 33d Flying Training Squadron
+ 80th Flying Training Wing - Sheppard Air Force Base, Texas
# 89th Flying Training Squadron
o Air Force Reserve Command
+ 340th Flying Training Group
# 5th Flying Training Squadron - Vance Air Force Base
# 43d Flying Training Squadron - Columbus Air Force Base
# 96th Flying Training Squadron - Laughlin Air Force Base
# 97th Flying Training Squadron - Sheppard Air Force Base
# 100th Flying Training Squadron - Randolph Air Force Base

* United States Navy

Incidents

* Two Columbus Air Force Base T-6 Texan II primary trainers collided about 12:47 p.m. Nov. 28, 2007 near the Columbus AFB Auxiliary airfield in Shuqualak, Miss. At the time of the accident, the aircraft were conducting initial flight training operations. On-scene emergency response located and confirmed all four pilots had parachuted safely.

More photos: T-6A Texan II photo gallery

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