T-29 "Flying Classroom" / Seastar
The T-29/C-131 series of aircraft was one of the military's many cost saving examples for its utility and transport needs.
The first T-29 military Convair 580 Convair-Liner was accepted March 8, 1950, and the first C-131 was delivered in 1964. Military production eventually eclipsed civil production with the last Convair-Liner being a military Canadair CL-66B which was delivered March 3, 1961. A total of 472 military Convair-Liners were built. Today the Convair-Liner continues to fly on both civilian and military rosters, attesting to its reliability throughout the years. Some were used as navigation trainers, others as transports.
The T-29 "Flying Classroom" aircraft was used by the Air Force for navigator training, having individual stations and instruments for each of the 10 students who would take turns navigating the aircraft. The Navy used the T-29 "Seastars" [the C-131F variant initially designated R4Y-1] to train student aviators in basic instrument flying. The current T-43 replaced the T-29 for training navigators.
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