Like what you’re doing for right now for a living?
And, are you fortunate enough – and young enough – and physically fit enough – for something possibly better?
Either way, we invite you to check out this fun-filled and cleverly done short 7 + minute video below to see if you’d like to add this profession to your career possibilities. And, unlike when some of us FASF members took this unforgettable training, it’s now open to BOTH men and women!
For those of us who’ve “been there and done that,” it’s more than just a nostalgic look back in time, but also a reminder of how lucky we once were to have had this very same job – and to have experienced this same tough yet exciting “OJT” (On The Job) training – and to have successfully completed that exhilarating learning exposure without “washing out” before graduation.
Although the equipment we used might have been a bit older – and slower – the result was the same: extreme job satisfaction. How great it was to be paid, but to not even think of the money we received, but more about how much fun it was to do what they paid us so well to do!
A reminder, below, of how lucky we were – – – and, if qualified, how lucky YOU still can be!
Some of you, like this reporter, will be touched by nostalgia at the beginning of this short video, because it was taken during the same period when a number of us FASF members had our own unique experiences going through flight training with the Air Force – or Navy. And to think of how a few select FASF members actually experienced this elite training to be professional aviators during the WWI era!
Some of you viewers might quickly realize that this is the graduation video for a class that just obtained their USAF Wings for the first time. The similar Class video of several weeks ago, on the other hand, depicted the experiences of a group of pilots who had already received their coveted silver wings – and were graduating from advanced specialized training in the F-16 front-line fighter.
PUZZLERS for this post:
- Some of you may wonder why the students in the above video were throwing their fellow classmates into the Kiddy pool. Anyone like to explain this ritual? Just type your remarks inside the “Leave a Reply” box at the bottom of this page – and let’s see who gets it right first, or;
- How about the appearance, several times during the video of the twin jet engined small transport aircraft? Any suggestions or ideas about what this was doing in the undergraduate flight training video? And/or;
- What was the USAF Student pilot doing landing on a U.S. Navy Aircraft Carrier?
For some of you more curious followers of these pages, we’ve included more details about this current Primary (as it used to be called) or Undergraduate Training Aircraft, the T6A Texan II, which you can see in the superbly done 4:28 long video just below. It’s now our military’s main stay undergraduate trainer – and, in its fighting configuration – also being used by other nations, such as our neighbor to the South, Mexico. Additionally, it’s also being put to work by some of our NATO allies for flight training and combat purposes in Europe and the Mideast, as well. Anyone like to comment on:
4. Why it’s called the Texan II?
5. And, is there the implied TEXAN I?
Later, we’ll provide you with some click-linked videos to let you see that first TEXAN, an airplane with its own rich history as a first line Advanced training craft ship for both the USAF and the US Navy during – and well after WWII. A plane so legendary that it is still regularly seen performing in almost any major Airshow – even today. But first we’re going to include some other interesting and entertaining videos, one about the Texan II (4:27 in length), immediately down below, too.
Here, below, is another excellent Beechcraft promotional video of this same workhorse in action – Our own FASF Advisor, Patty Wagstaff, world famous champion aerobatics performer is also an advisor to Beechcraft Corporation’s Official Demonstration Team for this versatile airplane. Like to know more about this new multi-task Turbo-Prop (“Jet Prop”) machine? Then click right here to get her specifications.
The above (6:57 long) video by Beech Demo Pilot, Russ Smith, provides another fine insight into this new Texan’s wide-ranging capabilities.
Below is a short (2:30) video clip of an Air Force Flight Instructor at an Airshow, describing the cockpit features and some other characteristics of the T-6A Texan II.
And now some video shorts of the above Texan’s predecessor, the original T-6 Texan. The first Texans were built by North American Aviation, the same manufacturer of the famous P and F-51 “Mustang” front line fighters of WWII. The original T-6, when used by the Canadians as their Primary Trainer, was affectionately dubbed the T-6 “Harvard,” rather than “Texan.” The U.S. Navy called its T-6, the SNJ.
Immediately below is a clip of some of these highly popular and ubiquitous Texans, the first taken at the Reno Air Race Classic. The Texan has its very own class in these renown speed contests, restricted exclusively to its own T-6 model series. This below video is four and a half minutes long.
As you can see, these original Texans sat on a conventional retractable landing gear, rather than the more popular or modern tricycle type gear, with which the new Texan II’s are fitted.
The new gear, as you have observed, has the steering wheel under the nose. This meant that the pilots in the T-6 Texans of old could not see straight ahead over the nose of the plane while taxiing, so “S” turning was necessary, in order to just safely see what was up ahead.
Additionally: The conventional gear was far more difficult when on the ground, because it was comparatively unstable – which is to say that it was highly prone to doing dangerous “ground loops,” because of the inherent proclivity of the tail wheel to want to change places with the nose of the airplane. These so-called ground loops were an infrequent but real hazard, when the plane would suddenly spin around when landing, often tipping over onto the outside wing, frequently doing it serious damage, though fortunately rarely proving injurious to the pilot or passenger.
From first hand experience, it’s fair to say that most military pilots who had the pleasure of training in these fabled Texans will never forget the thrills they had in mastering their special characteristics – and of doing some of their very first serious aerobatics in them. And it’s equally fair to claim that today’s young military men and women student pilots are having a similarly exiting adventure learning to fly in the latest version of this famous military trainer.
And, above, is a 14:44 length video of an Aerobatic venture in a Texan at Kissimmee, Florida airport. The passenger, up in the old Navy Texan for the 6th time, is receiving coaching throughout the flight from the instructor in the rear seat. You’ll hear both of them speaking on the intercom. The aircraft has been specially equipped with cameras mounted on both the vertical tail fin, and the wings, as well as inside the front cockpit, which will give you an excellent view of the aircraft as it progresses through various aerobatic maneuvers, such as aileron and barrel rolls, loops, a Cuban Eight and an Immelman vertical turn. Each of these aerobatic maneuvers is considered basic, and is learned by all military aviators in their early flight training. All the while you will hear the instructor advising his front cockpit student, as the student attempts the various maneuvers with the SNJ/T6 through the flight. The third voice you hear in the background is the Tower Controller providing flight and local traffic information to the two pilots. The instructor pilot performs the final landing. The normal engine and wind noise have been judiciously filtered out during this flight, which makes it substantially easier to hear the men speaking to one another. The plane is otherwise quite noisy, so this filtering is quite helpful to the viewer.
The above 10:53 long video is from a segment of “THE AVIATORS,” * the popular film seen on PBS TV and abroad. It is about young Kurtis being introduced to and instructed in the T6 Texan, a ship from the same T-6 stable at Florida’s Kissimmee Airport from which the previous video was also made.
And now, let’s wind this up with a young lady in her father’s Texan, up for her first ride. We put her here because it’s a delight to watch her gung ho and upbeat spirit, where she clearly enjoys her very first Texan adventure. The video’s 4:33 long.
- Kurtis takes you back in time to see what it was like for young WWII pilots to fly in the legendary fighter, the P-51 Mustang. But first he has to earn his wings in a T-6.
- About “The Aviators”: With 10 million US viewers weekly on PBS and millions more in over 100 countries plus online, The Aviators is an award-winning, worldwide aviation phenomenon.
The Aviators airs weekly across the US on PBS, several times a week in Canada on Travel+Escape, and overseas on Discovery. The show is also available online on iTunes, Hulu, and Amazon, in addition to the show’s official website at TheAviators.TV
ALL SEASONS NOW AVAILABLE on iTUNES at http://iTunes.Theaviators.TV
Released on Nov 14, 2012