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T-2C Buckeye jet trainer

A third in the Buckeye series, designated T-2C, was designed in 1966. In 1967 the same year NAA became North American Rockwell the new General Electric J85-GE-4 engine became available at lower cost per unit to the Navy. Although not providing any significant increase in thrust, the newer technology and cost were the driving factors in procuring the GE engine. Thus was born the T-2C. The venerable C variant entered service in early 1969. In addition to the original NAA servicing features, the engines could be self-started without auxiliary ground equipment and changed out in less than three hours.

The only major difference between the C and B models was a change in engines. General Electric J65-GE-4 engines provided an additional 45 pounds of thrust for each engine over the Pratt & Whitney J60 engines on the T-2BS. VT-9 at NAS Meridian was the first squadron to receive the new T-2C on April 30, 1969.

T-2C Buckeye jet trainer aircraft was produced for the US Navy by North American Aviation [purchased by Rockwell, which was purchased by Boeing] at Columbus. T-2C trainers were used by the Naval Air Training Command to conduct basic jet flight training for future Navy and Marine Corps aviators. The trainer established an outstanding record of safety and reliability while providing training for more than 11,000 students to pilot 18 different models of Navy jet aircraft. Buckeyes also were purchased by Venezuela (T-2D) and Greece (T-2E).

The two-place, high-performance T-2C Buckeye was used for a wide variety of pilot training, from the student's first jet flight to fully qualified flight. The aircraft was used for teaching a wide range of skills, including high-altitude, high-speed formation and aerobatic flights; basic and radio instruments; night and day navigation; and gunnery, bombing, and carrier operations. Distinguishing features include wide-track tricycle landing gear, a straight tapered wing, a dorsal-faired vertical stabilizer, large low-slung intake ducts, a deep-squared engine compartment, and faired twin tailpipes.The aircraft is designed for both land- and carrier-based operations.

The T-2 was grounded three times in 1997 due to safety problems. Recent improvements in aircraft flight control and ejection seating have improved the aircraft's handling and safety. The aircraft had a history of uncommanded pitch events, which became chronic in the last few years. Extensive research identified the causes. Changes to the elevator boost actuator have been implemented to correct the problem. In addition, a redesign to correct a long-standing deficiency in the ejection seat pan has been developed and successfully tested. Modifications began in early 1999.

The T-45 Goshawk replaced the T-2 Buckeye in the Intermediate Jet Pilot Training Program. After more than 40 years of service, the venerable T-2 Buckeye training aircraft left service after one last training detachment with Training Wing 1's Reserve Squadron Augment Unit (SAU) 9. Some of the aircraft continued in service, training naval flight officers and other non-pilot personnel. Some remain in service around the fleet in various roles, as well as at the Naval Test Pilots School at NAS Patuxent River, Maryland. The rest of the aircraft were flown to Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Ariz. Most T-2 Buckeyes have been replaced by the T-45 Goshawk. It is expected that NAS Meridian completely transition from the T-2 Buckeye to the T-45 Goshawk in August 2004. At NAS Pensacola, the T-2 Buckeye remained in service for about another year.



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Page last modified: 09-04-2017 18:58:26 ZULU