What do you call a Temco TT-1 Pinto trainer with a new engine? A rare breed with a lot of giddyup-and-go.
- By Jay Miller
- Air & Space magazine, March 2005
(Page 2 of 2)
Had Temco gotten the engine it had wanted in the 1950s, U.S. military flight training might have followed a different path—or at least used a different trainer. Like Shaw, the late Allen Paulson of American Jet Industries, one of the first to buy the TT-1 when it became available to civilians in the 1960s, installed a more powerful GE J85 engine in the Pinto’s engine bay. AJI also bumped the fuel capacity from 124 to 196 gallons. In this much-modified configuration—unofficially referred to as the Super Pinto by AJI and its partner, Aeronca—the aircraft cruised at 400 mph and its rate of climb jumped from less than 2,000 to 10,000 feet per minute. In fact, the most historically significant moment in the TT-1’s career occurred not during its service with the Navy but during a 1972 National Championship Air Races event in Reno, Nevada, when AJI test pilot Dick Hunt flew a triple Immelmann maneuver shortly after takeoff that racing fans are still talking about. What a recruiting attraction that would have been.