NZ orders Beech T-6C trainers and sims

NZ has ordered 11 T-6C trainers. (Beechcraft)
NZ has ordered 11 T-6C trainers. (Beechcraft)

New Zealand Defence Minister Jonathan Coleman has announced that the RNZAF will acquire 11 Beechcraft T-6C turboprop trainers as part of a NZ$154 million training package.

The announcement says the aircraft are part of a larger training system. “This modern, safe and reliable pilot training system will enable our military pilots to be trained to the highest standards, and is in line with the training systems used in Australia, the UK, the US and Canada,” Dr Coleman said in a January 27 statement. “The (NZ)$154 million package includes ground simulators, classroom and computer based training packages to complement practical flying experience in turbo-prop T-6C aircraft. The T-6C has a proven track record in service with other militaries, and meets the NZDF’s performance and safety standards.”

The simulators will be acquired from CAE Simulation to subcontract to Beechcraft. CAE Australia will support the simulators and Safe Air will provide maintenance support to the aircraft at Ohakea.

Aircrew training for the RNZAF is currently conducted on CT-4E piston trainers and Beechcraft B200 King Airs, but both of these types are due to be withdrawn by 2018. “The new system is expected to be operational for the first trainee intake in early 2016,” dr Coleman added. “It is estimated it will produce up to 15 graduate pilots and 12 Qualifying Flying Instructors per year over the next 30 years.”


  1. Gazza68 says

    What about getting a multi-purpose strike fighter for NZ. We can’t keep on thinking that we can depend on Australia after all they are shafting us at every chance they can. if the government says they can’t afford it there are two options, cut MPs salaries or do away with some military bases and streamline processes with a few super bases to cut costs which make better logistical sense.

  2. John from Oz says

    Why have a single engine trainer when all aircraft are twins. Why not just use the King air and nothing else….

  3. says

    Probably because you wouldn’t want to start an ab-initio pilot on a twin. Modern high performance singles such at the T-6C, Super Tucano and PC-21 can be de-rated via software or even the flick of a switch to provide lower power settings and more benign handling qualities similar to that of a more basic trainer for ab-initio students, and then uprated for a ‘sportier’ feel as the pilot’s experience and abilities increase.

    This is an option the ADF is considering for AIR5428.