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T-6 Texan II
A USAF T-6A Texan II out of Randolph Air Force Base
Role Trainer aircraft
Manufacturer Raytheon Aircraft Company
Hawker Beechcraft
Primary users United States Air Force
United States Navy
Canadian Forces
Hellenic Air Force
Produced 435+[1]
Developed from Pilatus PC-9

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 has replaced the Air Force's T-37B Tweet and is replacing 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), the Luftwaffe of Germany, the Greek Air Force, and the Iraqi 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.[2] A similar arrangement between Pilatus and British Aerospace had also been in place for a Royal Air Force competition in the 1980s, although this competition selected the Short 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 a Canadian "private equity fund" which retained the name Hawker Beechcraft.[3]

The JPATS competition winning design was based a commercial off the shelf Pilatus PC-9, with minor modifications. Additional requirements and conflicts between the Air Force and the Navy resulted in delays, cost increases (from initial estimates of $3.9 to roughly $6 million per aircraft) and a completely new aircraft that is 22 % or 1,100 lbs heavier than the Pilatus.[4]

On April 9, 2007 the U.S. Department of Defense released their Selected Acquisition Reports, which reported that the T-6 JPATS program was one of only eight programs cited for Congressional notification for 25-50% cost overrun over initial estimates, which is referred to as a "Nunn-McCurdy Breach" after the Nunn-McCurdy Amendment. It is unusual for a program so far into full rate production to experience significant enough cost overruns to trigger this Congressional notification. [5]

Operational history


United States

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, replacing the 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 retired its last T-37 in April 2008. The last active USAF T-37Bs were retired at Sheppard Air Force Base in the Summer of 2009.[6]

An original T-6A Texan aircraft, right, with the new T-6 Texan II at Randolph Air Force Base (AFB), Texas, in 2007

The T-6A also replaced all T-34Cs with Training Air Wing SIX at Naval Air Station Pensacola in early 2005. T-6Bs began replacing T-34Cs as the primary trainer with Training Air Wing FIVE at NAS Whiting Field in the late summer of 2009 and the installation will operate both aircraft as it transitions over the next few years.[7] Training Air Wing FOUR at NAS Corpus Christi will continue to operate the T-34C as the primary trainer, with the arrival of the T-6B scheduled for that location in 2012.[7]

The Texan II costs approximately US$6 million each, with almost a quarter of that for the two Martin-Baker zero-zero ejection seats.[8]


The Hellenic Air Force operates 25 T-6A and 20 T-6A NTA aircraft.[9][10]


The CT-156 Harvard II is a variant used for pilot instruction in the NATO Flying Training in Canada (NFTC), located at 15 Wing, Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan.[11] 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 25 Harvard II aircraft owned and maintained by Bombardier.[12]


On 9 June 2008, the Defense Security Cooperation Agency announced a possible FMS sale to Israel of 25 T-6As for the Israeli Air Force.[13][14] In July 2009, Beechcraft delivered the first four of 20 T-6As under contract to the Israeli Air Force.[15]


On 16 December 2009: The first 4 of 15 T-6A aircraft are delivered to Iraq under a $210 million contract. No AT-6 aircraft were included as was previously reported. This equates to an average of $14 million per aircraft with support and training included. The first 8 aircraft, purchased by the Government of Iraq, will arrive at Tikrit by the end of January 2010. The last 7, purchased by the United States, are expected by the end of December 2010. [16]


In October 2009, Hawker Beechcraft announced the sale of 24 T-6Cs for the Royal Moroccan Air Force.[17]


A CT-156 Harvard II at CFB Moose Jaw in 2005
T-6A Texan II 
Standard version for the USAF, USN, and Hellenic Air Force (25).
T-6A NTA Texan II 
Armed version of the T-6A for the HAF (20). T-6A NTA has the capability to carry rocket pods, gun pods, external fuel tanks, and bombs.[10]
T-6B Texan II 
Upgraded version of the T-6A with a digital glass cockpit that includes a Head-Up Display (HUD), six multi-function displays (MFD) and Hands On Throttle And Stick (HOTAS).[18]
AT-6B Texan II 
Armed version of the T-6B for primary weapons training or light attack roles. It has the same digital cockpit, but upgraded to include datalink and integrated electro-optical sensors along with several weapons configurations.[10][19]
T-6C Texan II 
Upgraded version of the T-6A with wing hard points.
CT-156 Harvard II 
Version of the T-6A for NTFC with the Canadian Forces.[11] Cockpit layout based on that of the CT-155 Hawk.


A Hellenic Air Force T-6A Texan II during CIAF in Brno
 United States


  • 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. (Gunshy Auxiliary Airfield) At the time of the accident, the aircraft were conducting flight training operations. On-scene emergency response located and confirmed all four pilots had parachuted safely.[22] The Accident Investigation Board determined that pilot error was the cause of the mishap.[23]
  • An Instructor pilot and student were hurt after an engine failure after takeoff. The aircraft was reported to have lost power, began vibrating and "making grinding sounds". The instructor failed to feather the prop on his emergency approach to a taxiway which contributed to the crash. [24]
  • July 11, 2009 A Columbus Air Force Base T-6 Texan crashed barely missing a house, the pilot ejected safely. [25]

Specifications (T-6A)

General characteristics


Minimum Runway Length: 4,000 ft[26] Minimum Runway Width: 75 ft[26]

See also

Related development

Comparable aircraft

Related lists


  1. ^ HawkerBeechcraft Production
  2. ^ Hawker Beechcraft - T-6 is not a PC-9 Article
  3. ^ Biz Yahoo Onex Acquires Hawker Beechcraft Article
  4. ^ [[1]] Strapping in and Bailing out, Navy and Air Force Joint Acquisition of Aircraft
  5. ^ [[2]] Department of Defense Selected Acquisition Reports, 2007
  6. ^ USAF (undated). "80th Flying Training Wing". Retrieved 2009-10-24. 
  7. ^ a b
  8. ^ T-6 Texan.
  9. ^ Amynanet (undated). ">ΑΜΥΝΑ & ΔΙΠΛΩΜΑΤΙΑ 18. Εκπαιδευτικά αεροσκάφη". Retrieved 2009-10-24. 
  10. ^ a b c Bertorelli, Paul (October 2009). "NBAA 2009 Video Series: Hawker Beechcraft's Turboprop Attack Aircraft". Retrieved 2009-10-15. 
  11. ^ a b c Department of National Defence Public Affairs (March 2007). "CT-156 Harvard II". Retrieved 2009-10-24. 
  12. ^ Department of National Defence Public Affairs (March 2007). "CT-156 Harvard II Specs". Retrieved 2010-01-07. 
  13. ^
  14. ^
  15. ^ Egozi, Arie. "Israel receives first four T-6A 'Efroni' trainers". Flight International, 13 July 2009.
  16. ^ [3] Defense Industry Daily, The Penny Drops: Iraq Chooses its Training & COIN Aircraft
  17. ^ a b Hawker Beechcraft sells 24 trainers to Morocco
  18. ^ CMC Electronics Cockpit 4000 for Turboprop and Jet Trainers Article
  19. ^ Hawker Beechcraft Corporation (undated). "Beechcraft AT-6". Retrieved 2008-10-04. 
  20. ^ T-6 Texan II, Accessed July 11, 2009.
  21. ^ "The Penny Drops: Iraq Chooses its COIN Aircraft". Defense Industry Daily. August 12, 2009. Retrieved 14 August 2009. 
  22. ^ Air Force Link (November 2007). "T-6 Texan IIs collide". Retrieved 2007-11-28. 
  23. ^ USAF (undated). "Executive Summary Accident Investigation Board T-6A". Retrieved 2009-03-12. 
  24. ^ [[4]] Power loss, then mistakes, caused T-6 crash,
  25. ^ [[5]] No deaths in CAFB plane crash, but a near miss for a neighbor.
  26. ^ a b T-6 Study Guide, T-6 Study Guide. Retrieved 10 Dec 2009.

External links


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