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Fighter / Attack:
   Bell P-39 Airacobra
   Bell P-63 Kingcobra
   Brewster Buffalo
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   Curtiss P-40 Warhawk
   Curtiss SB2C Helldiver
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   Lockheed P-38 Lightning
   Messerschmitt Bf-109
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   North American P-51 Mustang

   Polikarpov I-16
   Republic P-47 Thunderbolt
   Supermarine Spitfire
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Beechcraft AT-11 Kansan (C-45)
   Beechcraft T-34 Mentor
   Boeing / Stearman PT-17

   Commonwealth CA-25 Winjeel
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   N. American T-28 Trojan

   Piaggio P149
   Ryan PT-22 Recruit

   Scottish Aviation T1 Bulldog
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   Lockheed PV-2 Harpoon / Ventura
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   North American B-25 Mitchell

   Beechcraft C-45 (AT-11)

   Boeing C-97 Stratofreighter (KC-97)
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   Douglas C-54 Skymaster

   Fairchild C-119 Flying Boxcar
   Fairchild C-123 Provider
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   Lockheed C-60 Lodestar
   Lockheed C-69 Constellation

Utility / Observation / Special Duty:
   Aeronca L-3 Grasshopper
   Aeronca L-16 Grasshopper
   Antonov AN-2 Colt
   Auster AOP 6/9
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   Avro Shackleton
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   Lockheed P2V Neptune
   Max Holste M.H.1521 Broussard
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   Noorduyn UC-64 Norseman
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   Stinson L-5 Sentinel
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   Westland Lysander

   Aero L-29 Delfin
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   Mikoyan MiG-15
   Mikoyan MiG-17
   Mikoyan MiG-21
   N. Am. F-86 Sabre / FJ-4 Fury
   N. Am. F-100 Super Sabre
   N. Am. / Rockwell T-2 Buckeye
   Northrop T-38 Talon / F-5
   PZL / WSK TS-11 Iskra
   Saab J35 Draken
   Soko G-2A Galeb
   Temco Pinto & Super Pinto

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Beechcraft T-34 Mentor

(Variants/Other Names:
Turbo-Mentor; T-3 Komadori; Fuji LM-1/LM-2 Nikko; Model 45)

Beechcraft T-34
T-34A N34EP (s/n 53-3313), flown by Jim Skogen of Minnesota, USA.
Photo by Max Haynes, MaxAir2Air.com.


History: The Model 45 primary trainer was based on the successful civilian Beech Model 35 Bonanza. Although first built in 1948 in response to an expected demand by the Air Force, a fly-off competition was required before the decision was made to purchase it. At this time the USAF was trying to figure out the best way to train new pilots; whether to have them start in jets or use piston-powered craft for the transition phase of training. The latter choice was made and in March of 1953 the Model 45 was selected under the designation T-34 Mentor. Eventually a total of 450 T-34As were built for the Air Force. A year later the first of 423 T-34B trainers were delivered to the U.S. Navy, these with increased horsepower.

Consideration was given to arming the craft with machine guns and bomb racks for a potential close support role, but no orders materialized. Eventually, most piston engines were phased out in favor of an all-jet training regimen. However, the Navy decided in 1973 to buy 184 T-34’s with upgraded turbine power. This allowed the service to keep the tried and true Mentor airframe, with its excellent and forgiving handling qualities, while providing students with the required experience. The first T-34C Turbo-Mentor began student training in January 1978 and production of this model reached 353. A number of countries have purchased a variation of this model to provide forward air control and tactical strike capability. Japan licensed and built the T-3 version of the aircraft, and also built a four-seat liaison version (LM-1/LM-2), often informally referred to as the "Fuji."

After their retirement from active duty with the US Air Force, many Mentors went on to serve with the Civil Air Patrol as spotter and general-purpose utility aircraft. About 100 of the 1,300 T-34s built still remain in military service today.

In the last twenty years, the T-34 has developed an extremely loyal following among warbird owners and operators, with well over a hundred now in private hands. Its good looks, maneuverability, and relative economy of operation have captured the interest of the warbird community, and it promises to live on for generations to come.

Nicknames: "The Radial Interceptor"; Komadori ("Robin") (Japanese Air Self-Defense Force nickname for Fuji-built version called the T-3); Harukaze ("Spring Breeze") (Japanese Ground SDF nickname for LM-1/LM-2 Nikko four-seat liason version.)

Specifications (T-34B):
        Engine: One 225-hp Continental O-470-4 flat-six piston engine
        Weight: Empty 2,055 lbs., Max Takeoff 2,900 lbs.
        Wing Span: 32ft. 10in.
        Length: 25ft. 10in.
        Height: 10ft. 0.25in.
            Maximum Speed: 188 mph
            Range: 770 miles
        Armament: None

Number Built: 1,300+

Number Still Airworthy: 400+

[ Flight Report by Budd Davisson ]

[ T-34 Photos ]

T-34 Cockpit Photo:

(Click for larger)

Lima Lima Team
North American Trainer Association (NATA)
T-34 Association
T-34 Regulatory Issues (on AOPA site)


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