Wednesday, May 14, 2008

T-34 Turbo Mentor walk around

Beech's Model 45 Mentor was a primary trainer derived from the postwar Bonanza, although a new fuselage with tandem seating and a conventional tail was used. the T-34A was built as a primary trainer for the USAF, while the revised T-34B filled a similar role for the Navy.
Beech T-34 Mentor
T-34 at the Beaver County Airport, Pennsylvania

Air Force Beech T-34A Mentor trainer
Retired USAF T-34A on display at  the US Air Force Museum at Dayton, June 1992



Beech T-34C Turbo-Mentor overall photo
T-34C at KPIT, early 2000s
The Air Force Mentors had a short operational life, but the USN aircraft flew on until the 1970s, when they were replaced by the much more powerful T-34C, which used a PT6 turboprop. The Turbo Mentor was built between 1975 and 1990 and is still in use, although it is being gradually replaced by the T-6 Texan II.

Export FAC-capable T-34Cs were supplied to Argentina, Gabon, Indonesia, Morocco, Peru, Taiwan, and Uruguay.

Beech T-34C cockpit detail photo
T-34C cockpit

T-34C walk around - nose gear detail
T-34C nose gear

T-34C walk around - main landing gear photo
T-34C main gear

Navy T-34C tail photo
T-34C tail


Beech also built a single Jet Mentor prototype, but this version never entered service.

Jet Mentor patent


Bibliography

"First Navy T-34 Delivered - Trainer Scheduled for Pensacola"  Naval Aviation News  March 1955  p.31

"Mentor gets thumbs up - two students solo in new trainer"  Naval Aviation News  October 1955  p.18

Photo: JASDF T-34A 41-0318 Air Pictorial June 1980  p.213

Photo: Indonesian Air Force Turbo-Mentor LD-3408.  Air International December 1985  p.279

Photo: T-34A NG251S / N34AB FlyPast December 1998 p.11

"Mentor Prototype Saved" Aeroplane April 2005

Encyclopedia of World Military Airpower
p.86  Color side view profile of a camouflaged T-34C of the Fuerza Aerea Ecuatoriana


Scale Models
A 1/48 scale injection molded model of the Turbo Mentor has been available from Czech Models.

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