Beechcraft T-6 Texan T1 (ZM324) from the Royal Air Force (RAF) at the RIAT 2019, RAF Fairford (United Kingdom)
The Beechcraft T-6 Texan II is a single-engine turboprop aircraft built by the Raytheon Aircraft Company (which became Hawker Beechcraft and later Beechcraft Defense Company, and was bought by Textron Aviation in 2014). A trainer aircraft based on the Pilatus PC-9, the T-6 has replaced the Air Force's Cessna T-37B Tweet and the Navy's T-34C Turbo Mentor. The T-6A is used by the United States Air Force for basic pilot training and Combat Systems Officer (CSO) training, the United States Navy and United States Marine Corps for primary and intermediate Naval Flight Officer (NFO) training, and by the Royal Canadian Air Force (CT-156 Harvard II designation), Greek Air Force, Israeli Air Force (with the "Efroni" nickname), and Iraqi Air Force for basic flight training. The T-6B is the primary trainer for United States Student Naval Aviators (SNAs). The T-6C is used for training by the Mexican Air Force, Royal Air Force (RAF), Royal Moroccan Air Force, and the Royal New Zealand Air Force.
The Beechcraft T-6 Texan T1 will take over the basic fast jet training role currently fulfilled by the Short Tucano T1. Students will progress onto the aircraft from the Grob 120TP Prefect and move forwards to the British Aerospace Hawk T2. Continuing the precedent set by the Tucano for employing a tandem-seat turboprop basic trainer, the Beechcraft T-6 Texan T1 replaces the analogue cockpit of the earlier machine with a digital glass cockpit featuring modern avionics. The aircraft's mission system is capable of generating simulated air-to-air targets and scoring against the release of simulated air-to-ground ordnance.
The Royal International Air Tattoo (RIAT) is the world's largest military air show, held annually over the third weekend in July,
usually at RAF Fairford in Gloucestershire, England in support of The Royal Air Force Charitable Trust.
The show typically attracts a total of 150.000 to 160.000 spectators over the weekend.