Sixty-five years ago today, the Beechcraft T-34 Mentor took flight for the first time. A two-seat pilot trainer, the T-34 developed from the Beechcraft 35 Bonanza and was the west’s most successful postwar basic trainer. Fully aerobatic, the Mentor was strengthened to withstand +6g and -3g. The Air Force adopted the T-34A in 1953 as its first postwar primary trainer and the Navy followed in 1955 with the T-34B variant.
Mentors were also built under license in Argentina, Canada and Japan. The Mentor is used by the Lima Lima Flight Team and aerobatic pilot Julie Clark on the air show circuit.The T-34C is still used as a primary training aircraft for United States Navy and Marine Corps and Coast Guard student pilots, although it is currently being replaced by the T-6 Texan II. Training Air Wing SIX at NAS Pensacola, Training Air Wing FIVE at NAS Whiting Field and Training Squadron TWENTY-SEVEN at NAS Corpus Christi have transitioned to the T-6A and T-6B models, respectively. Training Squadron TWENTY-EIGHT is the only remaining squadron flying the T-34C with plans to begin transition in 2014 ( Source Wikepedia).
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