Boeing T-43

Source: Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
T-43 taking off from Ottawa Macdonald-Cartier International Airport
Role Multi-engine trainer / transport
Manufacturer Boeing
First flight 10 March 1973[1]
Introduction September 1973[2]
Retired September 2010
Status Retired
Primary user United States Air Force
Number built 19
Developed from Boeing 737
A T-43 in flight

The Boeing T-43 is a retired modified

United States Air Forces in Europe (USAFE), respectively, as executive transports. A third aircraft was also transferred to Air Force Materiel Command (AFMC) for use as the "Rat 55" radar test bed aircraft and was redesignated as an NT-43A. The T-43A was retired by the Air Education and Training Command (AETC) in 2010 after 37 years of service.[3]

Design and development

On 27 May 1971, the

From its entry into service in 1974 until the mid-1990s, the T-43As were used for all USAF Undergraduate Navigator Training. Starting in the mid-1990s, the T-43As were used for USAF Undergraduate Navigator/

Combat Systems Officer training with the exception of those USAF navigators/CSOs slated for the F-15E and B-1B

In 1976, with the

P-3 Orion, including its EP-3 variant, and various versions of the C-130 in U.S. naval service, began training in USAF T-43s at Mather AFB under a program known by USAF as "Interservice Undergraduate Navigator Training" (IUNT)[5][6]
and by the U.S. Navy as the NAV pipeline for training student naval flight officers slated for eventual assignments to land-based naval aircraft.

Externally, the T-43A differs from the civilian Boeing 737-200 aircraft by having more antennas and fewer windows.

The T-43A has stations on board for twelve navigator students, six navigator instructors, as well as a pilot and co-pilot. The student training compartment was equipped with avionics gear as used in contemporary operational aircraft from the mid-1970s to the early 2000s. This included search and weather radar;

GPS), student navigators were no longer taught celestial navigation or LORAN.[citation needed

The T-43A aircraft had considerably more training capability than the aircraft it replaced, the reciprocating-engine, propeller-driven


Inside each T-43A training compartment were two minimum proficiency, two maximum proficiency and 12 student navigator stations. Two stations form a console, and instructors could move their seats to the consoles and sit beside students for individual instruction. The large cabin allows easy access to seating and storage, and reduced the distance between student stations and instructor positions.

The aircraft were initially assigned to the


Operational history

Boeing T-43A of the USAF 562nd Flying Training Squadron
Colorado ANG T-43 "Bobcat" patch
USAF MH-53J Pave Low helicopter near the wreckage of USAF CT-43A, AF Ser. No. 73-1149, in Croatia in 1996

The T-43 was last

Peterson Air Force Base, Colorado until 1997. The 200 AS was inactivated in 2018.[8]

In addition, as navigator training requirements were reduced when several USAF mission design series aircraft eliminated the navigator position, several T-43A aircraft had their navigator training systems removed and were modified to a transport aircraft configuration designated as CT-43A, such as one previously operated by the then-

MacDill AFB, Florida, in support of United States Southern Command (USSOUTHCOM) for transport of the USSOUTHCOM commander in Central and South America. The 6 AMW's CT-43A aircraft was replaced by a Gulfstream C-37A
aircraft in early 2001.

Throughout its service in the ATC and the successor AETC, no T-43 was ever lost in a mishap. Among the T-43s removed from navigator training and converted to CT-43A executive transports, one aircraft assigned to the

, and 34 other passengers. There were no survivors and subsequent investigation determined that this was a controlled flight into terrain (CFIT) mishap as a result of pilot error.

On 17 September 2010, the last T-43A navigational training flight was flown at Randolph Air Force Base, and the aircraft was subsequently retired from the active Air Force service after 37 years of service. With the redesignation of USAF navigators as


As of 2022, a single heavily modified NT-43A remains flying as a testbed aircraft in the Air Force Materiel Command (AFMC).[9]


Model 737-253 powered by two JT8D-9 engines and provision for 3 instructors and 16 student navigators, 19 built.[10]
T-43As converted as staff or command transports. Six T-43A were converted.
One T-43A, AF Ser. No. 73-1155, converted as a radar test bed aircraft. Used to test the radar-absorbing qualities of stealth aircraft.[11][12]


 United States

Aircraft on display

Specifications (T-43A)

Data from Encyclopedia of World Military Aircraft[17]

General characteristics

  • Crew: 2
  • Capacity: 19
  • Length: 100 ft (30 m)
  • Wingspan: 93 ft (28 m)
  • Height: 37 ft (11 m)
  • Wing area: 980 sq ft (91 m2)
  • Airfoil: root: BAC 449/450/451; tip: BAC 442[18]
  • Empty weight: 60,210 lb (27,311 kg)
  • Max takeoff weight: 115,000 lb (52,163 kg)
  • Fuel capacity: 5,950 US gal (4,960 imp gal; 22,530 L)[19]
  • Powerplant: 2 ×
    Pratt & Whitney JT8D-9A turbofan
    engines, 14,500 lbf (64.4 kN) thrust each


See also

  • USAF CT-43 crash during an NDB approach that killed U.S. Secretary of Commerce Ron Brown

Related development

Aircraft of comparable role, configuration, and era

Related lists


  1. ^ Bowers 1989, p. 499.
  2. ^ Federation of American Scientists Military Analysis Network T-43 page retrieved 2008-01-17.
  3. ^ Michelle Tan. "Air Force bids farewell to T-43". Army Times Publishing Company.
  4. ^ Air Enthusiast September 1973, p. 111.
  5. ^ " - Aircraft". Retrieved 6 April 2018.
  6. ^ "Historic California Posts, Mather Air Force Base". The California State Military Museum. Archived from the original on 26 March 2017. Retrieved 11 September 2018.
  7. ^ "Factsheets: T-43A". Archived from the original on September 3, 2009.
  8. ^ "140th Wing bids final farewell to 200th Airlift Squadron".
  9. ^ "The World's Most Secretive 737 Just Migrated to Oklahoma". MSN.
  10. .
  11. ^ Rogoway, Tyler (19 February 2015). "The World's Most Secretive 737 Is America's Key To Better Stealth Tech". Jalopnik. Retrieved 31 March 2021.
  12. ^ "The World's Most Secretive 737 Just Migrated to Oklahoma". MSN.
  13. ^ "73-1150 United States Air Force Boeing T-43A (737-253(A))". 6 July 2023. Retrieved 29 August 2023.
  14. ^ "Airframe Dossier - Boeing T-43A, s/n 73-1150 USAF, c/n 20697". Aerial Visuals. Retrieved 29 August 2023.
  15. ^ "Retired T-43 put on display". Air Education and Training Command. 10 November 2010. Retrieved 6 October 2017.
  16. ^ "Airframe Dossier - Boeing T-43A, s/n 73-1153 USAF, c/n 20700". Aerial Visuals. Retrieved 6 October 2017.
  17. ^ Donald and Lake 1996, p. 80.
  18. ^ Lednicer, David. "The Incomplete Guide to Airfoil Usage". Retrieved 16 April 2019.
  19. ^ Air Enthusiast September 1973, p. 113.

External links