Greetings from The Aero Experience Team


The Aero Experience is a celebration of Midwest aviation and aerospace achievement. We invite you to join us as we explore the treasures of Midwest aviation through first-hand experiences. Our contributors take turns flying lead, and we are always looking for new destinations. Check in with The Aero Experience frequently to see where we will land today, and then go out and have your own aero experiences!

Blue skies,

Carmelo Turdo, Mark Nankivil and Fred Harl - The Aero Experience Team

Thursday, May 11, 2017

EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2016: Warbird Trainers - Beech T-34 Mentor

Fred Harl and Carmelo Turdo Aero Experience continues our year-round coverage of EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2016 with the classic warbird trainer: The T-34 Mentor.  

The T-34 was a Beechcraft private venture effort to propose a primary training aircraft to replace the T-6 Texan in all branches of U.S. armed forces.  Following World War II, Beechcraft developed the V-tailed Model 35 Bonanza featuring tricycle landing gear in 1947.  The new trainer was based on the Bonanza heritage, but with tandem seating and single vertical tail design.  From 1949-1950, Beechcraft put the YT-34 on tour across the U.S. to gain support for the project, and it eventually won the primary trainer contract.  Subsequently, the USAF began service with the T-34A in 1953, and U.S. Navy did the same with its T-34B in 1955.  The USAF retired its T-34As in the 1960s, but the U.S. Navy continued to use its piston-powered trainers until their replacement with the T-34C Turbo Mentor in 1977.  The civilian designations for the former military aircraft were A-45 (T-45A) and D-45 (T-34B).  Also, T-34As (B-45) were sold to foreign countries, and others were built in Japan, Canada and Argentina.

Several hundred T-34s remain in civilian ownership to date, with many performing publicly in some capacity at airshows and fly-ins across the country.  When flown within performance envelope, the classic T-34 can present a graceful aerobatic display at less cost than many other aircraft of its era.  Airshow performers such as Julie Clark, the Lima Lima Flight Team and the Texas Twisters fly the T-34 with plenty of smoke to mark the smooth turns, loops and rolls of their aerobatic routines.  

No comments: