T-3A FireflyItem Number: 1384
The Air Education and Training Command at Randolph AFB announced on 12 October 1999 that the T-3A Firefly would be dropped by the Air Force, after having been grounded for more than two years. In 1998 the Air Force intiated the privately run Introductory Flight Training which uses private flight schools to screen pilot candidates. The success of this program persuaded the Air Force to drop the T-3 from service. The T-3 fleet was grounded in July 1997, following an inexplicable engine failure in Colorado. Three instructors and three students were killed in crashes since the plane went into service in 1994. Two crashes were the result of pilot error, while a third occurred because of a stall condition from which the pilot was unable to recover. The predecessor T-41 had no fatal accidents in 30 years of flight, although the T-41 was incapable of performing the aerobatics and spins that were the hallmark of the T-3. The T-3's engine had failed 66 times at takeoff or landing, and the Air Force grounded 57 of the planes on 10 occasions due to problems with the engines, fuel systems and brakes. Due to these problems, the T-3 was removed from service quicker than any other operational aircraft.
Mahogany Wood. Scale: 1/24. Wingspan 17 3/4 inches, Length 11 3/4 inches.