T-46 Eaglet Next Generation Trainer
Fairchild-Republic Corporation won the USAF competition to build the Next Generation Trainer for primary flight instruction in 1982. Intended to replace the T-37, initially it was planned that the Air Force would purchase 650 of the trainers through 1993 and that they would serve well into the 21st century. Fairchild-Republic also hoped to sell an attack version of the aircraft overseas.
Designed with simplicity, stability and low operating costs in mind, the T-46 was an H-tail, high-wing, design with with twin engines. The T-46 featured a pressurized cockpit with side-by-side seating for student and instructor. The ejection seats required a quick-sequencing system that extracted people without them running into each other. The big issue was diverging the seats.
The Fairchild Republic T-46 prototype was first flight tested at Edwards AFB on 15 October 1985, but never put into production. Due to budget constraints, the Air Force cancelled the T-46 program in 1986 after only three aircraft had been completed. After the Air Force decided to discontinue the T-46 program -- the company's only remaining aircraft contract -- Fairchild announced on March 13, 1987 the closure of Fairchild Republic in Farmingdale, New York to be completed no later than December 31, 1987.
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