Fuerza Aérea Argentina's Beechcraft T-34 Mentor E-010

The T-34 Mentor is a basic trainer designed by Walter Beech in 1947. Mass production originally started in 1953 up to 1959. A second run was manufactured between 1975 and 1990. Total production was of more than 2300 machines.
The Mentor in FAA service began as a requirement to replace the locally produced I.A.e 22DL during the first half of the 1950s. The deal between the American manufacturer and the FAA called for 15 machines to be flown directly from the Beechcraft plant, and 75 brought disassembled to Argentina to be assembled in the Fábrica Militar de Aviones. In 1979, 50 new Continental engines of 260hp are bought to re-engine the Mentors. This allowed the FAA to keep operating 41 Mentors.
Between 1996 and 1999, Lockheed Martin (by the time owner of the Fábrica Militar de Aviones) refurbished the remaining 30 Mentors still in FAA stock by strengthening the airframes and modernising the flight systems. These modernisations allowed the FAA to keep flying the plane until 2011, after which they were discharged from service after more than 50 years of service on the FAA.

The aircraft pictured here, E-010, was given serial number CG174 in the US. The aircraft was delivered to the FAA in 1958, and discharged from service in 2011, making this plane 53 years old.

Photos are mine and taken at the Museo Nacional de Aeronáutica of Argentina in Morón, Buenos Aires.



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