With the approach of Civil Air Patrol's 80th anniversary Dec.1, Maj. Ronald C. Finger of the Minnesota Wing's Crow Wing Composite Squadron worked with Col. Frank Blazich of the Col. Louisa S. Morse Center for Civil Air Patrol History, CAP national historian, on a special project — to create “Timeline Flight” paintings showcasing some of the wide variety of CAP aircraft flown over the years.
The 21 aircraft selected span the Coastal Patrol days of World War II, the postwar years and finally the aircraft Civil Air Patrol aircrews fly today. This is the 12th. Others will be posted every five days.
Beechcraft T-34A Mentor N7716B
- Capacity: Two
- Length: 28 feet 8 inches
- Maximum speed: 320 mph
- Cruise speed: 246 mph
- Range: 815 miles
- Service ceiling: 30,000 feet
The Beechcraft T-34 Mentor is a single-engine, military trainer aircraft derived from the Beechcraft Model 35 Bonanza. When the U.S. Air Force replaced the last of its T-34As in the early 1960s, numerous Mentors were released to Civil Air Patrol for use as search aircraft. The low wing limited its search and rescue role, however, and expensive maintenance issues resulted in the last T-34As being withdrawn from CAP service by 2003. A profile of the T-34A is featured on the CAP Emergency Services Emblem (oval patch) that the National Executive Committee approved May 27, 1966.
N7716B, with its distinctive “Tiger-Shark” nose, was flown by the Connecticut Wing.