New Zealand Buys T-6 Trainers

Beechcraft Signs Contracts with Royal New Zealand Air Force for 11 T-6C Trainer Aircraft and Fully Integrated Flight Training Solution

WICHITA, Kan. (Jan. 27, 2014) – Beechcraft Corporation today announced that its Defense Company has signed two contracts to provide a comprehensive pilot training system for the Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF). The foundation for the system is 11 Beechcraft T-6C Texan II turboprop military training aircraft. It also includes spare parts, training, logistics and maintenance support.

Beechcraft’s Defense Company and Global Mission Support organizations partnered with Safe Air Limited and CAE as subcontractors on the two contracts. The acquisition contract includes 11 Beechcraft T-6C aircraft, two CAE operational flight training simulators, computer-based training courseware and customized RNZAF pilot training syllabi – all of which are integrated to create a comprehensive leading edge learning management system.  A 30-year logistics support agreement provides turnkey support for the RNZAF flight training operations. The agreement consists of aircraft material support, full flight line and operational maintenance, as well as support and operation of the synthetic training devices.

“As the Royal New Zealand Air Force began the process of modernizing its pilot training capabilities, we were able to offer a proven, low-risk and highly capable solution that met their current and future training needs,” said Russ Bartlett, president, Beechcraft Defense Company. “With more than 825 T-6 aircraft in operation around the world, and more than 2.2 million accumulated flight hours, the aircraft has a fully tested and validated airframe fatigue life, plus an advanced avionics capability to facilitate future growth. We’re thrilled with this outstanding team of CAE and Safe Air, both existing providers to the RNZAF, and look forward to getting the program up and running.”

The T-6C aircraft and simulators will be based at RNZAF Base Ohakea, where they will support primary through advanced aircrew training before they move on to operational squadrons or the flight instructor course (FIC). The T-6C will replace the Pacific Aerospace CT-4E Airtrainer in the primary phase of the RNZAF Wings Course and FIC training role. It will replace the Beechcraft King Air B200 in the advanced phase of the Wings Course. The aircraft also will be flown by the RNZAF’s formation aerobatic display team made up of senior instructor pilots.

The first four Beechcraft T-6C aircraft will be delivered to the RNZAF in November 2014. At that point, the air force will begin validation flying in preparation for integrating the aircraft into pilot training by mid-2015. All 11 T-6C aircraft will be delivered by mid-2015.

About the T-6

The T-6 military trainer offers military operators worldwide the most proven and cost-effective primary aviation training system available today. Aircraft deliveries began in 2000 after the T-6 was selected to fill the JPATS (Joint Primary Aircraft Training System) role for the U.S. Air Force and the U.S. Navy. Since then, additional military customers worldwide have selected the T-6, including NATO Flying Training Canada, the Hellenic Air Force of Greece, the Israeli Air Force, the Iraqi Air Force, the Royal Moroccan Air Force and the Mexican Air Force.

In addition to accommodating instruction in flying basics, instrument flight procedures and aerobatic maneuvers, the T-6 delivers a world-class training capability that is versatile and flexible enough for teaching introductory flight training tasks, yet sophisticated enough to enable the more challenging and complex advanced training missions.

T-6 models include the original JPATS-winning T-6A, the Navy’s T-6B and a third variant called the T-6C. The T-6B and C are advanced versions of the T-6A with updated cockpit avionics. In order to replicate today’s high-tech frontline aircraft, the new cockpit includes a Heads-Up Display (HUD), Up-Front Control Panel (UFCP), three-color Multi-function Displays (MFD) and Hands-On Throttle and Stick (HOTAS). The integrated glass cockpit and a state-of-the-art avionics suite greatly expands its capabilities, enabling the advanced systems and information management skills training required in current and future military aircraft. The T-6C variant maintains avionics similarity with the T-6B while incorporating a hard-point wing to allow carriage of external fuel tanks.