The North American (now Boeing) T-2 Buckeye was responsible for the training of thousands of American naval aviators from 1959 onwards. The system was fielded as an intermediate budget trainer designed to give United States Navy pilots their first taste of jet-powered flight. The aircraft served with distinction from 1959 through 2004 after which it was officially retired in 2008 and replaced by the McDonnell Douglas T-45 Goshawk. Nevertheless, the T-2 Buckeye will always maintain a place in naval aviation history that few other aircraft in this class can ever hope to achieve.
The T-2 initially appeared as a single engine aircraft featuring the Westinghouse J34 series turbojet in the T-2A. This eventually became the T-2B with twin Pratt & Whitney J6- turbojet engines while the T-2C appeared with more powerful GE J85 engines. Performance with the GE powerplant netted speeds of 521 miles per hour with a range of 910 miles and a ceiling of 44,400 feet. Armament consisted of training ordnance in the form of gun pods, rocket pods and practice bombs on two external hardpoints.
With the aircraft's origin in the North American FJ-1 Fury design, the T-2 maintained its forerunner's straight wing design appearance. Instructor and student sat in tandem well forward in the fuselage. The twin turbojet engines rested underneath the fuselage and were fed from two under-fuselage intakes to either side of the aircraft. The nose cone came to a distinct narrow point and the tail featured a simple rudder and tail plane arrangement. The undercarriage featured main landing gear recessing into the underside of the wings with a nose wheel retracting forward into the nose housing. Wings were mid-mounted just behind the rear seat cockpit position with wingtip tanks at the ends.
The T-2A Buckeye model evolved into two other major variants with limited prototypes appearing in-between. The T-2A was featured as an "improved" Buckeye in the YT-2B of which two were converted. These became the T-2B Buckeye. Similarly, the T-2B was used as a single prototype for the YT-2C to become the T-2C Buckeye. Drone directors (designated with "DT") made from small batches of T-2B and T-2C models existed. The T-2D and T-2E were export models.
Notable operators included Venezuela (taking an order of 12 T-2D models) and Greece (receiving an order of 30 T-2E models).
- Navy / Maritime
36.09 ft (11 m)
33.79 ft (10.3 m)
14.76 ft (4.5 m)
8,051 lb (3,652 kg)
13,076 lb (5,931 kg)
518 mph (834 kph; 450 kts)
44,291 feet (13,500 m; 8.39 miles)
905 miles (1,456 km; 786 nm)
OPTIONAL FOR TRAINING PURPOSES:
2 x 100lb practice bombs
2 x 12.7mm machine gun pods
2 x 2.75" Rocket pods
T2J-1 - Original Aircraft Designation before 1962's joint aircraft designation system.
T-2A - Initial Production Model Designation; fitted with Westinghouse J34-WE-36 series turbojet engines; 271 delivered.
YT-2B - Two T-2A models used as T-2B prototypes; basis of T02B production models.
T-2B - "Improved" T-2A Model; fitted with Pratt & Whitney J60-P-1 turbojet engines; 97 examples delivered.
YT-2C - Single Prototype Example; conversion of T-2B model; basis of T-2C production models.
T-2C - Final Production Model; fitted with 2 x General Electric J85-GE-4 turbojet engines; 231 delivered.
DT-2B - Drone Director; conversion from T-2B models.
DT-2C - Drone Director; conversion from T-2C models.
T-2D - Venezuela Export Model; 12 delivered.
T-2E - Greece Export Model; 30 delivered.