The T-2 "Buckeye" two-seat single-engine intermediate jet trainer first entered service at the Pensacola Naval Air Station in 1959. Over the years additional versions of the aircraft were introduced, including twin-engine versions and export versions which were sold to air forces overseas.
The straight-wing aircraft had a cockpit setup similar to the T-28, and its performance envelope was somewhere between that of the Cessna t-37 "Tweety Bird" and the TA-4J "Skyhawk" used for advanced and carrier landing training. The Buckeye was used for a wide variety of pilot training purposes, all the way from a student's first jet flight to becoming a fully qualified jet pilot. Many skills could be taught in this aircraft including high-altitude, high-speed formation and aerobatic flight, basic and advanced instrument training, navigation, gunnery, bombing and carrier landings and takeoffs. The rear seat in the Buckeye was elevated to provide both the student and instructor pilot with excellent visibility. Both cockpits had duplicate controls, allowing control of the aircraft from either cockpit. The rocket-catapult ejection seats provided emergency escape capabilities from ground level to 50,000 feet at speeds from 55 to 525 knots. The flying characteristics, control response, low stall speed and good stability of the Buckeye combined to provide the qualities required of a good training aircraft. The Buckeye was a rugged, versatile and forgiving aircraft. The wide-tread tricycle landing gear provided excellent control during takeoff and landing. The thrust-to-weight ratio and high limit load factor provided performance capabilities equal to many jet tactical aircraft. The airframe was constructed to withstand carrier landings, inadvertent high G-loads and rough landings encountered during student training. This August the Buckeye will be retired as the US Navy makes way for the new T-45 Goshawk after 50 years of military service. Some wonder how soon they will find a used Buckeye for sale on eBay! If you want one keep your eyes peeled - you may get your chance! Until next time keep your wings straight and level Hersch! JetAviator7