Super Pinto N1110X, owned (at the time) by Steven L.
Snyder. (Photo source unknown. Please contact us if you deserve credit.)
History: The United
States Air Force issued a requirement in 1952 for a jet-powered primary trainer, and Texas
Engineering and Manufacturing Company (Temco) responded with a design it labeled the Model
51 "Pinto." Powered by a Continental J69-T-9 turbojet, the Pinto was a
tricycle-geared mid-wing cantilever monoplane, with tandem seating for the instructor and
student in an enclosed cockpit.
First flown in March of 1956, the prototype was
tested by the U. S. Navy, which subsequently ordered 14 of the aircraft under the
designation TT-1, to study the feasibility of using jet aircraft for primary training. No
additional TT-1 Pinto aircraft were manufactured.
With the single Continental engine, the aircraft's performance
capabilities included a maximum airspeed of 345 mph, a service ceiling of 32,200 ft. and a
sea-level endurance of 1 hour, 30 minutes.
Also under development in response to the 1952 Air Force requirement
was the Cessna T-37, a primary jet trainer powered by two Continental J69-T-9
turbojets, instead of the Pinto's one. That aircraft was accepted by the Air
Force, with two prototypes being ordered, the first of which flew in October of 1954.
Thus, in a situation where Temco appears to have
entered the competition with too little, too late, the TT-1 Pinto had a very limited life.
Of the original Pintos, at least seven have passed on
to civilian hands and at least four have been modified into Super Pintos
by the replacement of the original engine with a 2,850-pound thrust J-85/CJ610 engine, and
an increase in fuel capacity to 196 US gallons. This extraordinary thrust increase
resulted in a cruise speed of 400 mph, a top speed of 550 mph, a rate of climb of 10,000
feet per minute, and a minimum (lightweight) takeoff roll of only 500 feet, making it one
of the world's ultimate aerial sports-cars.
Nicknames: Tinker Toy
Engine: One 930-pound thrust Continental J69-T-9 turbojet
Max Takeoff Weight: 4,325 lbs.
Wing Span: 30ft. 0in.
Length: 30ft. 9.25in.
Height: 10ft. 10.75in.
Range: 450 miles
Number Built: 14
Number Still Airworthy: Seven (at least 4 of
which are Super Pintos)
Flight Report by Budd
Cockpit Photo (Super Pinto N4229):
(Click for larger)
None (Send us some!)
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