The U.S. Air Force used the T-34A for primary flight training during the 1950s. The original Mentor, a Beechcraft Model 45 derived from the famous Beechcraft Bonanza, was first flown in December 1948. The first military prototype, designated YT-34 by the USAF, made its initial flight in May 1950.
After extensive testing, the USAF ordered the Mentor into production as the T-34A in early 1953. The first production T-34A was delivered to Edwards Air Force Base, Calif., in October 1953 for evaluation, and deliveries to the Air Training Command began in 1954.
The Mentor remained the standard USAF primary trainer until the introduction of the Cessna T-37 jet trainer in the late 1950s. As they were replaced by T-37s, many T-34s were turned over to base aero clubs. In all, the USAF acquired 450 T-34As. Three hundred fifty were built in the United States and 100 more were produced in Canada under license. The U.S. Navy and 10 foreign militaries also used the T-34.
Engine: Continental O-470-13 of 225 hp
Maximum speed: 191 mph
Range: 821 miles
Ceiling: 20,000 ft.
Span: 32 ft. 10 in.
Length: 25 ft. 11 in.
Height: 9 ft. 7 in.
Weight: 2,900 lbs. loaded
Serial number: 53-3310
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