T-1A Jayhawk / T-400
The T-1A Jayhawk is a medium-range, twin-engine jet trainer, with 180 delivered between 1992 and 1997. It is used by the US Air Force's Air Education and Training Command to train student pilots to fly airlift or tanker aircraft. The swept wing T-1A is the military version of the Beech 400A multi-place business jet. It has cockpit seating for an instructor and two students and is powered by twin turbofan engines capable of an operating speed of Mach .73. The T-1A differs from its commercial counterpart with a single-point refueling system with greater capacity and increased bird strike protection in the windshield and leading edges for sustained low-level operation. The Japan Air Self Defence Force has also taken delivery of 12 T-400 aircrew trainers (Beechjet 400Ts).
The Jayhawk represents the first new training aircraft procured by the Air Force in 30 years and marks the beginning of a new era in undergraduate pilot training. The first aircraft was delivered to Reese Air Force Base, Texas in January 1992. Student training in the T-1A began at Reese in 1993.
Since the late 1950s, Air Force undergraduate pilot training students have trained in two aircraft: the T-37 Tweet, the primary trainer and the T-38 Talon, the advanced trainer. With the introduction of specialized undergraduate pilot training in 1993, students continue to receive their primary flying training in the T-37. Advanced training for students identified to go into bombers and fighters will be in the T-38. Those selected for airlift or tanker aircraft will receive their advanced training in the T-1A. The airlift tanker track uses the T-1A Jayhawk, facilitating the transition to crew positions in airlift and tanker aircraft. Instruction centers on crew coordination and cockpit management duties in a multi-place crew aircraft. Flight training includes visual and instrument transition, radar cell formation, and simulated refueling and airdrop missions. Training takes approximately 26 weeks and includes 185 hours of ground training, 43 hours in the flight simulator and 104 flying hours in the T-1A.
The T-1A is used at all undergraduate pilot training bases: Columbus AFB, Miss.; Laughlin AFB, Texas; and Vance AFB, Okla. It is also used at Randolph AFB, Texas, to train instructor pilots.
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