North American T-2 Buckeye

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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 development[edit]

The first version of the aircraft entered service in 1959 as the T2J-1. It was redesignated 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-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 was similar to that used in the original North American FJ-1 Fury and its cockpit controls were similar to the T-28C Trojan trainer. The T-2's performance was between that of the U.S. Air Force's T-37 Tweet, and the U.S. Navy's TA-4J Skyhawk. While it had no built-in armament, the T-2 had 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.

Variants[edit]

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.

Operator[edit]

A T-2E Buckeye of the Hellenic Air force.
A civilian-operated T-2B Buckeye[4] painted in United States Navy colors
 Greece
 United States
 Venezuela

Specifications (T-2C Buckeye)[edit]

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

General characteristics

Performance

See also[edit]

Related development
Aircraft of comparable role, configuration and era

References[edit]

External links[edit]