Jet trainer

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Czechoslovak Aero L-39 Albatros in the Slovak Air Force, 1993

A jet trainer is a jet aircraft for use as a trainer, whether for basic or advanced flight training. Jet trainers are either custom designs or modifications of existing aircraft. With the introduction of military jet-powered aircraft towards the end of the World War II it became a requirement to train pilots in the handling of such aircraft.


A two-seat Gloster Meteor of the 1940s

The first generation of trainers in the 1940s were modified from existing designs like the Gloster Meteor and Lockheed T-33 but with these were followed by custom training aircraft like the Aero L-29 Delfín and the BAC Jet Provost.

As training developed different air forces used jet trainers for different phases of training. Although most air forces continued to use piston or later turboprop aircraft for basic training, a number of jet trainers like the Cessna T-37 Tweet appeared for the early stages of pilot training. Pilots who were picked to fly fighter or strike aircraft then went on to fly more advanced training aircraft like the Hawker Siddeley Gnat.

As the early jet-trainers became obsolete then further generations have appeared, the British using the single-engine BAE Systems Hawk while the French ordered the Dassault/Dornier Alpha Jet. In the Warsaw Pact the Aero L-39 Albatros became the standard jet trainer.

As the jet trainer developed it was also used for weapon training, which led to some trainers being modified as light strike aircraft; for example, the Cessna T-37 Tweet was developed into the Cessna A-37 Dragonfly.

List of jet trainers[edit]

Aircraft Name Country of origin Year 1st flight No. built Status
Aermacchi MB-326  Italy 1957 800 Limited service
Aermacchi MB-339  Italy 1976 230 Operational
Aero L-29 Delfín  Czechoslovakia 1959 3,500 At least a few in service with the Mali Air Force
Aero L-39 Albatros  Czechoslovakia 1968 2,800 Operational
Aero L-59 Super Albatros  Czechoslovakia 1986 60 Operational
AIDC AT-3 Tzu Chung  Republic of China 1980 63 Operational
AIDC T-5 Brave Eagle  Republic of China 2020 1 In development
BAC Jet Provost  United Kingdom 1954 741 Retired
BAe Hawk  United Kingdom 1974 1,000 Operational
Boeing/Saab T-7A Red Hawk  United States/ Sweden 2016 2 In development
CASA C-101  Spain 1977 166 Operational
Canadair CT-114 Tutor  Canada 1960 212 Retired
Cessna T-37 Tweet  United States 1954 1,269 Limited service
Dassault/Dornier Alpha Jet  France/ Germany 1973 480 Operational
Douglas TA-4F/J Skyhawk  United States 1954 2,960 Operational
EADS Mako/HEAT  France/ Germany/ Greece/ Italy/ Sweden Never 0 Cancelled
Fiat G.80  Italy 1951 4 Retired
FMA IA 63 Pampa  Argentina 1984 27 Operational
Fokker S.14 Machtrainer  Netherlands 1951 21 Retired
Folland Gnat  United Kingdom 1955 449 Retired
Fouga Magister  France 1952 929 Retired
Fouga Zéphyr  France 1959 32 Retired
Fuji T-1  Japan 1958 66 Retired
Guizhou JL-9  People's Republic of China 2003 20 Operational
Grumman F9F-8T/TF-9J Cougar  United States 1951 1,392 Retired
HAL HJT-16 Kiran  India 1964 190 Operational
HAL HJT-36 Sitara  India 2003 6 Limited series production
HAL HJT 39  India TBD 0 Proposed
HAL Supersonic Omni Role Trainer (SPORT)  India TBD 0 Proposed[1]
Hispano HA-200  Spain 1955 212 Retired
Hongdu JL-8/Karakorum-8  People's Republic of China/ Pakistan 1990 500 Operational
Hongdu L15 Falcon  People's Republic of China 2006 100 Operational
IAR 99  Romania 1985 20 Operational
KAI T-50 Golden Eagle  South Korea 2002 82 Operational
Kawasaki T-4  Japan 1985 208 Operational
KB SAT SR-10  Russia 2015 1 In development
Leonardo M 346 Master  Italy 2004 68 Operational
Lockheed T-33  United States 1948 6,557 Retired
Lockheed T2V SeaStar  United States 1953 150 Retired
McDonnell Douglas T-45 Goshawk  United States 1988 221 Operational
Mikoyan MiG-AT  Russia 1996 2 Cancelled
Morane-Saulnier MS.760 Paris  France 1964 165 Retired
North American T-2 Buckeye  United States 1959 1,146 Operational
Northrop T-38 Talon[2]  United States 1958 529 Operational
PZL I-22 Iryda  Poland 1985 17 Retired
PZL TS-11 Iskra  Poland 1960 424 Limited Service
Saab 105  Sweden 1963 192 Operational
Soko G-2 Galeb  Yugoslavia 1961 248 Limited service
Soko G-4 Super Galeb  Yugoslavia 1978 85 Operational
SIAI-Marchetti S.211  Italy 1981 60 Operational
TAI Hurjet  Turkey 2022 0 In development
Temco TT Pinto  United States 1956 15 Retired
Yakovlev Yak-130  Russia 1996 100 Operational


  1. ^ "EXCLUSIVE: HAL All Set To Announce LCA-Based Jet Trainer". Livefist Defence. February 19, 2019. Retrieved September 15, 2019.
  2. ^ Factsheets : T-38 Talon : T-38 Talon Archived 2005-10-21 at the Wayback Machine