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The Beechcraft T-6 Texan II is a turboprop advanced trainer which was developed to replace the T-37B Tweet and T-34C Turbo Mentor in US Air Force and US Navy. The Texan II is a licenced development of the Swiss Pilatus PC-9 and is around 22% heavier. Over 850 have been produced for 11 nations, this includes proposed armed combat versions known as the Wolverine. The base Texan II has also been upgraded for export purposes with the inclusion of external wing hardpoints for long range fuel tanks and other stores, this is known as the T-6C.
The RAF operate 10 T-6C Texans as the Texan T.1 for advanced pilot and basic fast jet training. The aircraft are flown by No.72 Squadron as part of No.4 Flying Training School based at RAF Valley. The aircraft are provided by Affinity Flight Training Systems on behalf of Ascent as part of the UK Military Flying Training System (MFTS), a 25-year PFI provided by Lockheed Martin and Babcock.
72 Squadron will be providing a pair of Texan T.1s for static display at this year's Air Tattoo. It is planned for one to appear in the RAF experience and for the other to be parked together with an example of each type that form the MFTS.
Photo Credit: Peter March