Jet trainer

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Czechoslovak Aero L-39 Albatros in the Slovak Air Force (in 1993)

A jet trainer is a jet aircraft for use as a trainer, whether for basic or advanced flight training. Jet trainers are either custom designs or modifications of existing aircraft. With the introduction of military jet-powered aircraft towards the end of the World War II it became a requirement to train pilots in the handling of such aircraft.


1940s two-seat Gloster Meteor

The first generation of trainers in the 1940s were modified from existing designs like the Gloster Meteor and Lockheed T-33 but with these were followed by custom training aircraft like the Aero L-29 Delfín and the BAC Jet Provost.

As training developed different air forces used jet trainers for different phases of training. Although most air forces continued to use piston or later turboprop aircraft for basic training, a number of jet trainers like the Cessna T-37 Tweet appeared for the early stages of pilot training. Pilots who were picked to fly fighter or strike aircraft then went on to fly more advanced training aircraft like the Hawker Siddeley Gnat.

As the early jet-trainers became obsolete then further generations have appeared, the British using the single-engine BAe Hawk while the French ordered the Alpha Jet. In the Warsaw Pact the Aero L-39 Albatros became the standard jet trainer.

As the jet trainer developed it was also used for weapon training, which led to some trainers being modified as light strike aircraft; for example, the Cessna T-37 Tweet was developed into the Cessna A-37 Dragonfly.

List of jet trainers

Aircraft Name Country of origin Year 1st flight No. built Status
Aermacchi MB-326 Italy 1957 800 Limited service
Aermacchi MB-339 Italy 1976 230 Active in production
Aero L-29 Delfín Czechoslovakia 1959 3,500 At least a few in service with the Mali Air Force
Aero L-39 Albatros Czechoslovakia 1968 +2,800 Operational
Aero L-59 Super Albatros Czechoslovakia 1986 +60 Operational
AIDC AT-3 Taiwan 1980 63 Operational
Alenia Aermacchi M-346 Master Italy 2004 +67 Operational
BAC Jet Provost United Kingdom 1954 741 Retired
BAe Hawk United Kingdom 1974 +1,000 Operational
CASA C-101 Spain 1977 166 Operational
Canadair CT-114 Tutor Canada 1960 212 Retired
Cessna T-37 Tweet United States 1954 1,269 Limited service
KB SAT SR-10 Russia 2015 1 under development
Dassault/Dornier Alpha Jet France/Germany 1973 480 Operational
Douglas TA-4F/J Skyhawk United States 1954 2,960 Operational
EADS Mako/HEAT Multinational Never 0 Cancelled
Fiat G.80 Italy 1951 4 Retired
FMA IA 63 Pampa Argentina 1984 27 Operational
Fokker S.14 Machtrainer Netherlands 1955 21 Retired
Folland Gnat United Kingdom 1955 449 Retired
Fouga Magister France 1952 929 Retired
Fouga Zéphyr France 1959 32 Retired
Fuji T-1 Japan 1958 66 Retired
Grumman F9F-8T/TF-9J Cougar United States 1951 1,392 Retired
HAL HJT-36 Sitara India 2003 +4 Limited series production
Hispano HA-200 Spain 1955 212 Retired
Hongdu JL-8/Karakorum-8 China/Pakistan 1990 +500 Operational
Hongdu L-15 China 1990 +3 Flight testing, limited series production
IAR 99 Romania 1985 +20 Operational
KAI T-50 Golden Eagle South Korea 2002 82 Operational
Kawasaki T-4 Japan 1998 +208 Operational
Lockheed T-33 United States 1948 6,557 Retired
Lockheed T2V SeaStar United States 1953 150 Retired
McDonnell Douglas T-45 Goshawk United States 1988 221 Operational
Mikoyan MiG-AT Russia 1996 2 Cancelled
Morane-Saulnier MS.760 Paris France 1964 165 Retired
North American T-2 Buckeye United States 1959 1,146 Operational
Northrop T-38 Talon[1] United States 1958 529 Operational
PZL I-22 Iryda Poland 1985 17 Retired
PZL TS-11 Iskra Poland 1960 424 Limited Service
RFB Fantrainer Germany 1978 50 Retired
Saab 105 Sweden 1963 192 Operational
Soko G-2 Galeb Yugoslavia 1961 248 Limited service
Soko G-4 Super Galeb Yugoslavia 1978 85 Operational
SIAI-Marchetti S.211 Italy 1981 60 Operational
Temco TT Pinto United States 1956 15 Retired
Yakovlev Yak-130 Russia 1996 100 Operational


  1. ^ Factsheets : T-38 Talon : T-38 Talon Archived 2005-10-21 at the Wayback Machine.
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