Beechcraft (Raytheon) T-6 Texan II

The team of Pilatus and Raytheon Aircraft was declared the winner of the JPATS competition, the Joint Primary Aircraft Training System in the 1990s. In this programme the US forces sought a replacement for the Cessna T-37 (USAF) and Beechcraft T-34 (US Navy).

Pilatus and Raytheon created a modified Pilatus PC-9, receiving Raytheon model number 3000. Under the US designation system it became known as T-6, and was therefore named Texan II as the original North American T-6 had the name Texan.

As most high performance turboprop training aircraft the Texan II has low, straight wings, a turboprop engine in the nose and a tandem cockpit, in this case with a three piece canopy, so two frames. The aircraft has a conventional tail plane. Like the PC-9 the first part of the wings, near the roots, has no dihedral, while the outer wings have a significant dihedral. The Texan IIs have a ventral fin below the tail.

The nose landing gear is about halfway between the nose and wings. The gear doors have a small recess in which the wheel fits when retracted.

Two frames divide the canopy in three parts. The highest point is behind the first seat.

On this close-up from the front you can see that the Texan II's wings are straight close to the fuselage, and point up beyond the main landing gear.

The T-6 tail has a smaller dorsal fin than the PC-9. Additionally, it has a ventral fin.

Different versions

The different versions of the Texan II can be recognised by:

  • the presence of weapon pylons under the wings
  • the presence of a Head-Up Display (HUD)
  • the presence of a camera sensor under the fuselage

Details will follow later.

Confusion possible with

Pilatus PC-9

pc 9m

Being derived from the Pilatus PC-9 it is logical that it share a lot of similarities with the Texan II (although in practice only the tires seem to be exchangeable!). The differences are in the bigger dorsal fin, no ventral fin and two piece canopy. The same differences apply to the PC-7 MkII.

Pilatus PC-21

pc 21

The successor of the PC-9 has a two piece canopy, wings with constant (small) dihedral, a trailing link main landing gear and a shark fin like top of vertical stabiliser.

Pilatus PC-7

pc 7

The PC-7 has similar wings as the PC-9 and T-6, but a clearly different canopy. This has one frame, close to the front.

Calidus B-250

calidus b 250

Another look-a-like is this trainer/light fighter. The dorsal fin is smaller and the wings have a constant dihedral, enough to avoid a mix-up with the Texan II. The nose gear is quite close to the prop, but not as much as on the Tucano. (photo: Mztourist/WikiMedia)

KAI KT-1 Woong-Bee

kai kt 1

This Korean aircraft also resembles the T-6. Like the PC-9 it has a two piece canopy though and no ventral fin. Also the wings have dihedral along the full span. (photo: Aldo Bidini/WikiMedia)

Embraer (Super) Tucano


Especially the Super Tucano has a similar canopy as the Texan II, which may confuse you. However, all Tucano's have a nose gear that is close to the prop, much closer than the other aircraft mentioned here.

TAI Hürkuş

tai hurkus c

The last high performance turboprop training aircraft here has a two piece canopy, a big dorsal fin and small winglets (on most versions) to make identification from the T-6 easy.