T-2 Buckeyes To Retire

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The only U.S. base still using T-2 Buckeye aircraft, Pensacola NAS, will put that distinction to rest with a ceremony to take place in early August as the base makes way for the new T-45 Goshawk. The T-2 saw its 50th anniversary as an active military aircraft pass on Jan. 31. It made its first showing at Pensacola in November of 1959, nearly a year after its introduction, and proved its staying power long after. The aircraft was used to teach air-to-air techniques and train airmen to drop munitions while preparing the pilots for jets. Pensacola instructors and maintenance crew will be trained in Meridian, Miss., to tangle with the Goshawk, which offers contemporary avionics and technology similar to modern fighter jets. New pilots may welcome the change. Older ones may wonder if the Goshawk can possibly outlast the T-2 ... or if they can soon find a Buckeye on eBay.