During the Korean War, airborne forward air controllers (FACs) chose the T-6 as the best available aircraft because it could operate from small, rough airstrips and was easy to maintain. More importantly, the T-6 was faster and more rugged than the light liaison aircraft they initially flew. Even though this World War II trainer was not designed to fly in combat, it performed well in its role as an airborne FAC (or "Mosquito"). The T-6, originally known as the Texan, was the sole single-engine advanced trainer for the USAAF during WWII, and 15,495 were built between 1938 and 1945. The T-6 continued to train pilots in the newly formed USAF.
The T-6D on display at the museum (S/N 42-84216) flew as an early Mosquito with the 6147th Tactical Air Control Group during the first two years of the Korean War. Ironically, it was converted to a mosquito spraying aircraft in 1952. Two years later, the USAF transferred it to the fledgling Republic of Korea Air Force (ROKAF). After retiring this aircraft, the ROKAF placed it on display outside for several years. The National Museum of the United States Air Force acquired it in 1995, and after restoration it went on display in 2001.
TECHNICAL NOTES: Maximum speed: 206 mph Range: 1,000 miles with a 55-gallon drop tank Span: 42 ft. Length: 29 ft. 6 in. Height: 10 ft. 10 in. Weight: 5,617 lbs. loaded Serial number: 42-84216
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