The Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF) selected Beechcraft to provide a new pilot training system. The service will acquire 11 T-6C Texan II turboprops. Beechcraft’s local partner, Safe Air, together with CAE, will provide the rest of the “comprehensive” package.
Two contracts have been signed. They include two CAE simulators, computer-based training and courseware, and a 30-year operations and logistics support agreement. 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 RNZAF’s formation aerobatic display team will also fly the aircraft.
The first four T-6Cs will be delivered to the RNZAF in November, and the remainder by mid-2015.
Since the T-6 entered service as the new primary pilot trainer with the USAF and U.S. Navy, Beechcraft has found seven international customers. “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,” said Russ Bartlett, president of Beechcraft Defense Company.