US Air Force designation: T-3A FIREFLY
TYPE: Primary prop trainer/sportplane.
PROGRAMME: Current composites constructed Firefly developed from wooden Slingsby T67A (licence-built version of French Fournier RF6B; T67B gained CAA certification 18 September 1984; T67C was CAA certified 15 December 1987. Subsequent versions were T67M, T67M200 and T67M260.
Last-mentioned selected by USAF to meet Enhanced Flight Screener (EFS) requirement. Slingsby prime contractor for both acquisition contract and seven-year contractor logistic support (CLS) contract. Northrop Grumman subcontractor for final assembly at Hondo, Texas, and for operation of CLS activities at Hondo and USAF Academy at Colorado Springs. US Type Certificate (Aerobatic Category) awarded to T67M260 on 15 December 1993.
Low-rate manufacture only, since 1997, but expanded in 2001-02 to cover order for 16 T67M260s placed by Royal Jordanian Air Force and three for Bahrain.
CURRENT VERSIONS: T67C: Basic version, including earlier C1, C2 and c3 subvariants. One 119 kW (160 hp) Textron Lycoming O-320-D2A flat-four engine, driving a Sensenich M74DM6-O-64 two-blade, fixed-pitch, metal propeller. Fuel tank in each wing leading-edge, combined capacity 159 litres (42.0 US gallons; 35.0 Imp gallons). nine T67Cs purchased by Netherlands government Civil Aviation Flying School for KLM and Royal Netherlands Navy pilot training; 12 T67Cs for Canadian Department of NAtional Defence for military primary flying training; plus other T67C variants for UK schools. One (demonstrator) built in 2000.
T67M: Military variant. First flight of T67M Firefly 160 (G-BKAM) 5 December 1982; CAA certification 20 September 1983; designation changed to T67M Mk II as wing fuel tanks and two-piece canopy introduced. Powered by 119 kW (160 hp) Textron Lycoming AEIO-320-D1B flat-four engine, driving a Hoffmann HO-V72 two-blade constant-speed composites propeller.
Sold to Netherlands for military grading; Japan and UK for airline training; and Switzerland for aerobatic and general flying training. Used by RAF, RN and British Army for elementary flying training; Joint Elementary Flying Training School (JEFTS) formed at Topcliffe, July 1993, with first of eventual 18 (including some second-hand) T67M Mk IIs operated under contract by Hunting Aircraft Ltd (later Hunting Contract Services, and now Babcock HCS); transferred to Barkston Heath in April 1995.
T67M200: Development of T67M; 149 kW (200 hp) Textron Lycoming AEIO-360-A1E engine; Hoffmann HO-V123 three-blade, variable-pitch, composites propeller; wing fuel capacity as for T67C. First flight 16 May 1985; CAA certification 13 October 1985. First customer Turkish Aviation Institute, Ankara (16 delivered from 1985); others ordered by Dutch operator King Air (three T67M200s, plus one T67M Mk II) as screening trainers for prospective RNethAF pilots; Royal Hong Kong Auxiliary Air Force (now Government Flying Service) (four); and Norwegian government's Flying Academy (six).
T67M260: Development of T67M; higher-powered Lycoming engine; electric elevator trim and electric flaps optional; cabin air conditioning system optional; higher maximum T-O and aerobatic weights, to allow 227 kg (500 lb) for two pilots and equipment plus full fuel load.
Prototype (G-BLUX) flown May 1991, evaluated at Wright-Patterson AFB; hot-and-high trials at USAF Academy in mid-1991. Preproduction aircraft (G-EFSM) flown September 1992. First flight of first USAF aircraft (92-0625/N7020D) 4 July 1993. T-3A type certificate awarded by CAA and FAA December 1993. Official USAF acceptance 25 February 1994; student pilot training began March 1994. Also acquired for UK military pilot training and by Bahrain and Jordan.
T-67 Mk2: In design stage mid-2003. Shorter-span, swept wings with thinner aerofoil section, and EFIS instrumentation. Estimated maximum and cruising speeds of 180 kt (333 km/h; 207 mph) and 150 kt (278 km/h; 173 mph) respectively. Potential candidate for UK Military Training System requirement.
CUSTOMERS: Total of 276 civil/military T67s of all subtypes (including 10 T67As) delivered to customers in 15 countries by December 2002 (one built in 1998, two in 1999, two in 2000, none in 2001 and 19 in 2002-03). Total production 281, including demonstrators and replacement for one USAF aircraft lost during testing, but excluding two T67B static test airframes.
US Air Force acquired 113 T-3As in three lots (38, 42 and 33) to replace Cessna T-41. USAF pilot conversion completed September 1993. Deliveries began January 1994 and were completed in November 1995. First operating unit (with 56 aircraft) was 1st Flight Screening Squadron of 12th Flying Training Wing based at Hondo, Texas; second and final operating unit (with 57 aircraft) is 557th FTS of USAF Academy at Colorado Springs; deliveries to this unit from August 1994; operational January 1995. All T-3As wore dual military/civilian identities. Remaining fleet of 110 grounded in July 1997 for fuel system modifications, and remained thus in early 2002, despite reassessment proving aircraft safe. In late 2000, USAF announced that it was contracting out future flight screening to civilian operators and in early 2002 was considering options for the T-3A fleet, including scrapping. The issue had not been resolved by late 2003.
Hunting Contract Services took delivery of 25 T67M260s between June 1996 and March 1997 for extension to JEFTS tri-service training programme, followed by a further two in September 1999. JEFTS expanded to 18 M200s and 27 M260s, based at Barkston Heath (20), Middle Wallop, Cranwell (six) and Church Fenton (five), but 16 of M260 fleet sold in 2003 on conclusion of part of contract.
One each delivered to Belize Defence Force and a UK civilian customer in 1996. Royal Jordanian Air Force ordered 16 T67M260s in September 2001; these delivered between 15 July and 20 December 2002 to replace Bulldogs with No. 4 Squadron at Al Mafraq AFB. Three T67M260s ordered (via BAE Systems) in March 2002 by Bahrain Amiri (now Royal Bahraini) Air Force; delivered in February 2003. Further Bahraini order in prospect.
DESIGN FEATURES: Conventional low-wing monoplane; design translated from wood to GFRP. Tapered wings and mid-mounted tailplane; sweptback fin.
Wing section NACA 23015 at root, 23013 at tip; dihedral 3° 30'; incidence 3°.
FLYING CONTROLS: Conventional and manual. Mass-balanced Frise ailerons, without tabs; mass-balanced elevators with manually operated port trim tab (electric trim optional); trailing-edge fixed hinge flaps; spin strakes forward of tailplane roots.
STRUCTURE: GFRP; single-spar wings with double skin (corrugated inner skin bonded to plain outer skin) and ribs in heavy load positions; frame and top-hat stringer fuselage; stainless steel firewall between cockpit and engine; fixed incidence tailplane of similar construction to wings (built-in VOR antenna); fin incorporates VHF antenna.
LANDING GEAR: Non-retractable tricycle type. Oleo-pneumatic shock-absorber in each unit. Steerable nosewheel. Mainwheel tyres size 6.00-6, pressure 1.38 bar (20 lb/sq in). Nosewheel tyre size 5.00-5, pressure 2.55 bar (37 lb/sq in). Hydraulic disc brakes. Parking brake.
Data follow for T67M260/T-3A.
POWER PLANT: One 194 kW (260 hp) Textron Lycoming AEIO-540-D4A5 flat-six engine, driving a Hoffmann HO-V123K-KV/180DT three-blade constant-speed composites propeller. Fuel 159 litres (42.0 US gallons; 35.0 Imp gallons) in wing leading-edges; refuelling point in upper wing surface.
ACCOMMODATION: Two seats side by side, fixed windscreen and rearward-hinged upward-opening rear-canopy section. Optional raised canopy and lowered seats to accommodate crew wearing military-style helmets. Dual controls standard. Adjustable rudder pedals. Cockpit heated and ventilated. Baggage space aft of seats.
SYSTEMS: Hydraulic system for brakes only. Vacuum system for blind-flying instrumentation. Electrical power supplied by 28 V 70 A engine-driven alternator and 24 V 15 Ah battery.
AVIONICS: Optional avionics, available to customer requirements, include equipment by Bendix/King, up to full IFR standard.
Instrumentation: Standard avionics include artificial horizon and directional gyro, with vacuum system and vacuum gauge, electric turn and slip indicator, rate of climb indicator, recording tachometer, stall warning system, clock, outside air temperature gauge, accelerometer.
EQUIPMENT: Includes tiedown rings and towbar; cabin fire extinguisher, crash axe, heated pitot; instrument, landing, navigation and strobe lights. Optional equipment includes external power socket, and wingtip-mounted smoke system.