Beechcraft T-1A Jayhawk - serial 91-0086 ‘XL’, assigned to the US Air Force's (USAF's) 47th Flying Training Wing (FTW) - was unveiled during a ceremony on August 13 in new 86th Flying Training Squadron (FTS) ‘Rio Lobos’ heritage colours at Laughlin Air Force Base (AFB), Texas.
The paint scheme represents that worn during World War Two by the Douglas B-18 Bolo bombers operated by the unit, which was then designated the 86th Bombardment Squadron. It also honours the airmen who served on the aircraft, with the nose inscribed with Capt Glen Edward’s name in memory of his service to the USAF. The nose also carries the name Lt Col Shawn Cheney, who is the current 86th FTS Director of Operations.
Nose art on the port side just behind the cockpit depicts a greatly enlarged version the unit emblem, while the nose on that side also carries eleven mission markings, represented by bomb silhouettes. A crescent moon just below the cockpit reflects its night attack mission during World War Two. The opposite (starboard) side is more subdued and does not carry the squadron emblem but does have the mission markings and a large ‘86’ in yellow just behind the cockpit.
Another USAF T-1A Jayhawk that has recently appeared in Heritage colours is 94-0128 ‘VN’ operated by the 71st Flying Training Wing/3rd Flying Training Squadron ‘Peugeots’ at Vance AFB, Oklahoma. This was welcomed back to the unit on June 10 after being repainted in a smart black and white scheme, with a large ‘skull and crossbones’ pirate flag painted on the tail. Dubbed the FAIP edition, it has been dedicated to the T-1A First Assignment Instructor Pilots (FAIP) at the base.