Jack E. Hammond
(AVSIG Member)
07/26/09 01:09 AM
The Fairchild T-46A - What Happened?


In the late 1970s the USAF decided to develop and purchase a new trainer which would combine all of the T-37 part and most of the T-38 training regime. Unlike the T-37 it would have a much higher transit speed and even more important the altitude it would train the pilot at: 47,000 feet. And it a lot less fuel and hours per hour costs.

But then something happened. The USAF was never clear about why they canceled the only new trainer being developed in the US since before the Vietnam War. All other trainers were developed from over seas designs. Some say the T-46A was canceled to prove that the Reagan administration could cancel some weapons projects. And the T-46A was one of the only two "major" weapons canceled by the Reagan administration.

Below are two pages from a aviation publication in 1984 on the T-46A. I am probably wrong, but I think what ever the short comings or problems were they could have been worked out and given the USAF the trainer they needed for the next three to five decades. And in my opinion Fairchild was not the type of company that would design a dog.

Any opinions or comments appreciated. And when I find the info that Fairchild sent me, I will post it.

Jack E. Hammond

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