Boeing T-43 Bobcat

ΘέμαMilitary training and transport aircraft

Teh Boeing T-43 was a modified Boeing 737-200 used by the United States Air Force for training navigators, now known in USAF as combat systems officers. Informally referred to as the Gator (an abbreviation of “navigator”) and “Flying Classroom”, nineteen of these aircraft were delivered to the Air Training Command at Mather AFB, California during 1973 and 1974. Two additional aircraft were delivered to the Colorado Air National Guard at Buckley ANGB (later Buckley AFB) and Peterson AFB, Colorado, in direct support of cadet air navigation training at the nearby U.S. Air Force Academy. Two T-43s were later converted to CT-43As in the early 1990s and transferred to Air Mobility Command and United States Air Forces in Europe, respectively, as executive transports. A third aircraft was also transferred to Air Force Material Command for use as a radar test bed aircraft and was redesignated as an NT-43A. The T-43 was retired by the Air Education and Training Command in 2010 after 37 years of service.

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The Boeing T-43 Bobcat was a modified version of the Boeing 737-200 airliner that was used by the United States Air Force for navigation training and staff transport. The T-43 was first delivered to the Air Force in 1973 and served until 2010, when it was replaced by the Boeing 737-based C-40 Clipper. The T-43 had a distinctive paint scheme of white and gray with a blue cheatline and a red tail flash. The T-43 could carry up to 80 passengers or 19 students and six instructors for navigation training. The T-43 was equipped with various navigation systems, such as VOR, DME, TACAN, ADF, INS, and GPS. The T-43 also had a radar pod under the nose for weather and terrain avoidance. The T-43 was operated by the Air Education and Training Command (AETC) and the Air Mobility Command (AMC). The T-43 was involved in several notable incidents, such as the crash of T-43A 73-1149 in 1996 that killed U.S. Secretary of Commerce Ron Brown and 34 others near Dubrovnik, Croatia. The T-43 was also used to transport former U.S. President George H.W. Bush and his wife Barbara to the funeral of former U.S. President Gerald Ford in 2006.

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