Hawker Beechcraft Corporation announced that it has delivered a specially painted T-6B Texan II trainer aircraft to the United States Navy as part of the commemoration of the Centennial of Naval Aviation. The milestone aircraft, which will be based at Naval Air Station Whiting Field in Milton, Fla., was handed over to Rear Admiral William G. Sizemore, Chief of Naval Air Training, on Dec. 7, 2011, in a ceremony at HBC headquarters in Wichita.
“In keeping with HBC’s long tradition of supporting our service men and women in peacetime or in conflict, we are honored to be a part of this historical celebration by delivering this specially painted T-6B to the U.S. Navy,” said Jim Maslowski, HBC president, U.S. International and Government Business.
“I am extremely honored to accept this beautiful T-6B Texan II on behalf of the Navy and put it to work in our training fleet,” said Sizemore. “Throughout the next year, the aircraft will be proudly and widely used and displayed to train student naval aviators, as well as enable the Navy and Naval Aviation to properly recognize and celebrate the Centennial of Naval Aviation.”
Beginning January 2011, the Navy will hold a year-long celebration of the men and women whose tremendous achievements have contributed to a century of progress in aviation. As part of this celebration, the U.S. Navy is having special heritage paint schemes applied to one of each of the aircraft in its current fleet. These aircraft are designed to provide a visible reminder of the Naval aviation heritage and will serve as just one of the many Centennial observances throughout 2011. The Centennial T-6B is reminiscent of the trainer aircraft of the 1940s and 1950s, with its bold orange-yellow paint scheme.
HBC’s relationship with the Navy began in the 1950s when its predecessor company, Beech Aircraft Corporation, began delivering Beech T-34B Mentor trainers for primary flight training.
Deliveries of the T-6 began in 2000 after the aircraft was initially selected to fill the Joint Primary Aircraft Training System role for the U.S. Air Force and the U.S. Navy. Since then, additional military programs worldwide, including NATO Flying Training in Canada, the Hellenic Air Force of Greece, the Israeli Air Force, the Iraqi Air Force and the Royal Moroccan Air Force, have chosen the T-6 as their primary trainers.
The Beechcraft T-6 offers military organizations worldwide the most proven and most cost-effective training system available today. The T-6 is a primary trainer aircraft that accommodates instruction in instrument flight procedures and basic aerial maneuvers. In addition, the T-6 delivers an outstanding training capability that is appropriate for the most basic introductory flight training through more challenging and complex advanced training missions. To date, the aircraft has been used to train pilots in approximately 20 different countries.