Special Hobby 1/72 TT-1 Pinto
|Scott Van Aken
|Short run kit
The Temco Model 51 had been initially proposed to the US Air Force in response to an Air Force competition for a jet-powered primary trainer, which was won by the Cessna T-37 Tweet. The concept behind the Model 51 was an attempt to provide primary training in a jet-powered aircraft. The official name for the Model 51 was the Pinto.
The Pinto was a mid-wing, tricycle landing gear trainer with an enclosed cockpit powered by a single Continental Motors J69-T-9 (license-built Turbomeca Marboré) jet engine. The aircraft carried no armament.
The TT-1s were equipped with many of the same features found in operational jets, including ejection seats, liquid oxygen equipment, speed brakes, along with typical flight controls and instrument panels. Although the flight characteristics were considered good, the "wave off" capability was rated marginal due to being slightly underpowered.
After its first flight in 1956, the prototype was sent to the Naval Air Test Center (NATC) Patuxent River to be evaluated alongside the Beech Model 73 Jet Mentor. Fourteen of the aircraft, designated TT-1, were produced between 1955 and 1957.
In 1959, these aircraft served in the Air Training Command at Pensacola, Florida and used in a training program demonstration testing the feasibility of using a jet-powered trainer for primary flight training.
In March 1959, Aviation Cadet E. R. Clark soloed in a TT-1, the first student in Naval Aviation history to solo a jet without previous experience in propeller aircraft. By the end of 1960, TT-1s were phased out of operations in the naval training command and sold as surplus.
I am quite pleased to see this kitted as I am drawn to kits like this. Small it will be and I should add that though no nose weight is suggested in the instructions, it might not be a bad idea to add some. It is a rather basic kit and would be perfect for those who want to dabble in short run.
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