About the Texan T MK1
The Beechcraft Texan T MK1 will take over the basic fast jet training role currently fulfilled by the Tucano T.Mk 1. Students will progress onto the aircraft from the Prefect and move forwards to the Hawk T2.
Continuing the precedent set by the Tucano for employing a tandem-seat turboprop basic trainer, the Texan II replaces the analogue cockpit of the earlier machine with a digital glass cockpit featuring modern avionics. The aircraft’s mission system is capable of generating simulated air-to-air targets and scoring against the release of simulated air-to-ground ordnance.
Under Raytheon ownership, Beech developed the T-6A Texan II from the Pilatus PC-9, in response to the long-running US Joint Primary Aircraft Training System (JPATS) requirement to replace the Cessna T-37. After reworking a Pilatus-supplied airframe, Beech flew a production standard Texan II, known then as the Beech Mk II, for the first time in December 1992. On June 22, 1995, Beech was announced the winner of the JPATS competition and the Texan II began re-equipping USAF flying training squadrons in May 2000.
The Texan II name recalls the North American T-6 Texan of World War II, a type used extensively by the RAF and Royal Canadian Air Force as the Harvard. When the T-6A-1 was developed as the CT-156 for the NATO Flying Training in Canada programme, it was appropriately named Harvard II. Subsequent variants include the T-6B for the US Navy and T-6C export version.
Chosen to supply a Tucano replacement under UK MFTS, Affinity is sourcing ten T-6C Texan II aircraft from Beechcraft, which is now a Textron company. The first aircraft built against the order completed its maiden flight in May and visited the UK to appear at the Royal International Air Tattoo in July.
The Texan T MK1 will be stationed at RAF Valley alongside the Hawk T2. Training on the new turboprop is expected to begin early in 2019.
Header image by Affinity
Beechcraft T-6C Texan II:
- Powerplant: one 1,100shp Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A turboprop engine
- Length: 33ft 4in (10.16m)
- Height: 10ft 8in (3.25m)
- Wingspan: 33ft 5in (10.20m)
- Wing area: 175.30sqft (16.28m2)
- Maximum take-off weight: 6,900lb (3,130kg)
- Maximum speed: 316kt (585km/h)
- Ferry range: 884nm (1,637km)
- Maximum altitude: 31,000ft