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T-2 Buckeye
T-2C Buckeye Pax River.jpg
A T-2C Buckeye taking off from NAS Patuxent River
Role Trainer aircraft
National origin United States
Manufacturer North American Aviation
First flight 31 January 1958[1]
Introduction November 1959[2]
Retired United States Navy 2008[2]
Status Active service with Hellenic Air Force
Primary users United States Navy (historical)
Hellenic Air Force
Venezuela Air Force (historical)
Produced 1958- 1970
Number built 529

The North American T-2 Buckeye was the United States Navy's intermediate training aircraft, intended to introduce U.S. Navy and U.S. Marine Corps Student Naval Aviators and Student Naval Flight Officers to jets.[1] It entered initial service in 1959, and was replaced by the T-45 Goshawk in 2008.[2]

Design and developmentEdit

The first version of the aircraft entered service in 1959 as the T2J-1. It was re-designated the T-2A in 1962 under the joint aircraft designation system. The two-seat trainer was powered by one Westinghouse J34-WE-46/48 turbojet. The aircraft was subsequently redesigned, and the single engine was replaced with two Pratt & Whitney J60-P-6 turbojets in the T-2B. The T-2C was fitted with two much more powerful 2,950 lbf (13,100 N) thrust General Electric J85-GE-4 turbojets. The T-2D was an export version which was sold to the Venezuelan Air Force, while the T-2E was sold to the Greek Air Force. The T-2 Buckeye (along with the TF-9J) replaced the T2V-1/T-1A Seastar, though the T-1 would continue in some uses into the 1970s.

T-2 Buckeye parking

T-2C being parked at Naval Air Station Pensacola, FL on August 30, 2005.

The Buckeye was designed as a low-cost multi-stage trainer. Its straight wing is similar to that used in the original North American FJ-1 Fury and its cockpit controls are similar to the T-28C Trojan trainer. The T-2's performance is between that of the U.S. Air Force's T-37 Tweet, and the U.S. Navy's TA-4J Skyhawk. While it has no built-in armament, the T-2 has two underwing hardpoints for .50 in gun pods, 100 lb (45 kg) practice bombs or 2.75 in rockets.

All T-2 Buckeyes were manufactured by North American at Air Force Plant 85, located just south of Port Columbus Airport in Columbus, Ohio. 273 aircraft were built during its production run. The name Buckeye refers to the state tree of Ohio, as well as the mascot of the Ohio State University.

Every jet-qualified Naval Aviator and virtually every Naval Flight Officer from the late 1950s until 2004 received training in the T-2 Buckeye, a length of service spanning four decades. In the Naval Aviator strike pipeline syllabus and the Naval Flight Officer strike and strike fighter pipeline syllabi, the T-2 has been replaced by the near-sonic T-45 Goshawk (the US Navy version of the BAE Hawk), which is more comparable to other high performance subsonic trainers, or the supersonic USAF T-38 Talon.[3] More recently, the T-2 has been used as a director aircraft for aerial drones. Several T-2 Buckeyes are now registered in civilian markings and regularly appear at airshows.

VariantsEdit

T-2A on USS Antietam catapult c1961

A T-2A of VT-7 on USS Antietam in the early 1960s.

T-2A
Two-seat intermediate jet training aircraft, powered by a 3,400-lb (1542-kg) thrust Westinghouse J34-WE-46/48 turbojet. Original designation T2J-1 Buckeye. 217 built.
YT-2B
Two T-2As were converted into T-2B prototype aircraft.
T-2B
Improved version, powered by two 3,000-lb (1360-kg) thrust Pratt & Whitney J60-P-1 turbojets. 97 built.
YT-2C
One T-2B was converted into a T-2C prototype aircraft.
T-2C
Final production version for the US Navy, powered by two 2,950-lbf thrust General Electric J85-GE-4 turbojets. 231 built.
DT-2B and DT-2C
Small numbers of T-2Bs and T-2Cs were converted into drone directors.
T-2D
Export version for Venezuela. 12 built.
T-2E
Export version for Greece. 40 built.

OperatorEdit

Greek T-2E Buckeye 1

A T-2E Buckeye of the Hellenic Air force.

Buckeye T-2A

A civilian operated T-2B Buckeye[4] painted in United States Navy colors

Flag of Greece.svg Greece
United States
Flag of Venezuela.svg Venezuela

Specifications (T-2C Buckeye)Edit

Data from Jane's All The World's Aircraft 1976–77[5]

General characteristics
  • Crew: 2
  • Length: 38 ft 312 inch (11.67 m)
  • Wingspan: 38 ft 112 in[6] (11.62 m)
  • Height: 14 ft 912 in (4.51 m)
  • Wing area: 255 ft2 (23.69 m2)
  • Empty weight: 8,115 lb (3,680 kg)
  • Max. takeoff weight: 13,179 lb (5,977 kg)
  • Powerplant: 2 × General Electric J85-GE-4 turbojets, 2,950 lbf (13.12 kN) each

Performance

  • Maximum speed: 453 knots (522 mph, 840 km/h) at 25,000 feet (7,600 m)
  • Range: 909 nmi (1,047 mi, 1,685 km)
  • Service ceiling: 40,400 ft (12,315 m)
  • Rate of climb: 6,200 ft/min (31.5 m/s)

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

External linksEdit

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