trainer / light attack
one pilot + student
2 x 7,140 lbs. ea.
1 x 20 mm
58 ft. 7 in.
25 ft. 10 in.
Development of the Mitsubishi T-2 traces back to around 1965. It was the result of thinking that a supersonic training aircraft was necessary for pilots who would be flying supersonic fighters. Japan wanted to develop their own trainer rather than purchase from outside the country. Mitsubishi was chosen to build the trainer from a field of aircraft companies including Kawasaki and Fuji Heavy Industries.
A Mitsubishi T-2 first took to the sky on July 20, 1971. It was the first aircraft built by Japan ever to fly at supersonic speeds during level flight. In 1975 the aircraft was deployed as Japan's first supersonic trainer.
The cockpit of the Mitsubishi T-2 seats the student in front and the instructor on a raised seat, for better visibility, in the rear. Both the student and instructor have separate canopies. Ejection seats are equipped so that they can eject through the canopy, even if the canopy remains closed. The seats are also equipped with chaff to facilitate tracking.
Flying the Mitsubishi T-2 soon reveals its high performance nature. As its speed increases, so does its rate of acceleration, especially in afterburner. Even during climb, speed increases quickly. If you stay in afterburner, 30,000 feet will be reached in less than a minute. You must work the controls fairly hard to induce changes in pitch, a good thing on a training aircraft. Little rudder deflection is needed to coordinate turns or facilitate aerobatic maneuvers. Directional stability, especially at speed, is excellent.
The Mitsubishi T-2 does not stall easily, and you will be warned by heavy buffeting. But should your angle of attack be too high, or your speed too low, it will break quite quickly. It can quickly drop into a spin, from which you will need lots of altitude to recover. Therefore the Mitsubishi T-2 is not approved for spins.
During landings the Mitsubishi T-2 pilot must keep the speed up and avoid too high an angle of attack to avoid quickly losing altitude. The aircraft is best "greased" onto the runway.
The anti-skid landing gear and a drag chute help the Mitsubishi T-2 come to a straight, well-controlled stop.
Mitsubishi T-2 in Blue Impulse colors
The Mitsubishi T-2 is equipped with launch rails on its wing tips and two hardpoints per wing so it can be used as a light attack aircraft. Its total external payload is 4,400 lbs. which may be comprised of ordnance, or additional fuel tanks.
A total of 90 Mitsubishi T-2 aircraft of all types were built before production ended in 1988.