Some new training planes have just rolled into the Corpus Christi Naval Air Station. They were welcomed Thursday with great fanfare.
The T-34C training planes were pretty old. Some have been used for almost 30 years; but technology has changed, and in order to keep up, they needed some new planes.
The new aircraft is called the T-6B, and they have just arrived from the factory. They are nicknamed the Texan Two. They're twice as heavy, twice as fast, and have twice the power of the old training aircraft.
Instructor pilots will begin training with the new planes once they have it squared out. The old planes will be phased out within the next few years.
"Extremely excited," Lt. Commander Ray McBride said. "It's been a long time coming. One of our lead aircraft guys has been working on this for five years to bring it down to Corpus."
In addition to the new planes, they also received new flight simulators, which are so realistic, it feels like you are flying the real thing. They will give pilots a better hands-on experience of what to expect on a plane.
It's almost like a video game. With the new simulator, students will be able to learn everything from how to handle the jet to what each button does, and the view is exactly what you would see if you were flying over Corpus Christi.
The best part for instructors is that they can be inside at all times, helping their students out. Instructors are excited to see this all happen, and they said it's more cost effective for them to get the basic training in a simulator than the aircraft.
"From our standpoint, we know that the student out there, that they have been trained," simulator instructor Doug Paine said. "We don't have any qualms about the fact that they have seen anything they need to see before they get in the airplane, and try an airplane for the first time."
They expect to get about six simulators in all.
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