The T-34 Mentor was the primary trainer for the US Navy from the late 1950’s through the late 1980’s. Many a Naval Aviator began their training in this aircraft.
Assigned to us in 2015, the aircraft spent that entire year in a rework facility in Florida undergoing an FAA mandated repair to strengthen the wing spar section of all T-34’s. In early January 2016, we accepted the aircraft from the repair facility and brought it home to Meacham Field in Ft. Worth. Since then we have tweaked several systems to make it a more reliable flyer and most importantly completed a full paint job reminiscent of the paint schemes of the 1960’s. We have completed training for four pilots and flown the aircraft to several air shows, receiving complements for the appearance.
The structural repair completed per the FAA in Florida was done at a cost that was more than $80,000. A group of concerned squadron members donated a large portion of the repair costs but a significant amount ($30,000) remained to pay off a loan from our Headquarters. With recent approval by the FAA to include the aircraft in the Rides Letter of Agreement, we now can offer rides in the aircraft which has helped us reduce our loan to slightly below $20,000. We are hoping to reduce this even more with your help. The Invader Squadron is fortunate to be able to operate this wonderful aircraft and hope to take it to many places to show the younger generation how fulfilling a career in aviation can be. As part of the CAF’s role, we pride ourselves in educating the young in the history of these great aircraft as well as helping some who are somewhat older remember days gone by.
Please help us to preserve this historical aircraft with your generous donation to keep this aircraft flying.