Q: What is the difference between
the “A” and the “B”?
A: The main differences between the
“A” and the “B” include:
- The certification category; the
“A” was certified in the Acrobatic Category while the “B” is
only certified for the Utility category. This allows the “A” models to perform
- The fuel system; the “A” has L/R
selector and the “B” has “Both” and feeds to a 4 gallon header
- Rudder pedals. “B” has adjuster
rudder pedals and fixed seat
- Seat; “A” has adjustable seat but
fixed rudder pedals
- Dihedral. “B” has 1 degree more
dihedral than the “A”
Beyond those basic differences there
are numerous STCs for engines, fuel tanks, avionics, batteries,
etc. so differences between even the same model aircraft can be
How many gallons of fuel does the T-34 hold?
A: The standard T-34 has 50 gallons
usable. Some T-34s have slightly smaller fuel bladders resulting
in only 45 gallon usable. It is important to verify which you
have. Additional STCs allow for a 40 gallon “wet wing” for 80
gallons total or the additional of Beryl D’Shannon 15 gallon tip
tanks which also give an 80 gallon total. The Parks STC for the
BDS tip tanks also increases the MTOW to 3,200.
How much baggage can be put in the T-34?
A: One of the great qualities of the
T-34 is the ability to be a sort of jack of all trades. Its
large baggage compartment easily allows for 4 normal airline
size carry-on bags. The door has an irregular shape but the
basic dimensions are 14 ½“ along the top, 19 ½“ along the bottom
and 18 ½“ tall. It is 33 ½“ in width (or depth). The actual
compartment is larger than the door but also has a slight
irregular shape as rear cockpit bulkhead makes up the front of
the baggage and it has a slight slope to it. The top is
approximately 16”, the bottom is approximately 22” and it is 25
½“ tall. The maximum baggage load is placarded at 100 lbs.
Over the years, have heard something about bungee cords on the
rudder/aileron hook up. Can you enlighten me on that?
A: The bungees were added as T-34s were converted to civilian
use. The intent was to provide rudder input automatically with
application of aileron. Most T-34s have had the bungees system
removed through FAA-sanctioned procedures.
Q: I have heard that some T-34s have
a rudder-ailieron interconnect bungee system. What's that all
A: (In editing.)
Buying a T-34
What are the main items to look
for when looking for a T-34 to purchase? What are the questions
I should be concerned about and ask the seller?
A: Go to
this page for a collections
of responses from several T-34 owners to this question.
Insurance? What is the average "ball park" cost per year for a
policy for a T-34 costing between $150K and $200K for pilots
having lots of high performance and retractable time?
A: Liability insurance for “pleasure & business” is about $225
for $1M / $100k per passenger. Hull insurance is expressed in a
rate per $100 of value. For example a $145,000 hull value would
carry a $2,030 annual premium for a hull rate of $1.40 per $100.
Is there one insurance company that provides the best and lowest
cost service for T-34 owners? Who is that company?
Who can give me training for
Your insurance underwriter will determine your specific
requirements for based on your qualifications. A fairly common
requirement is to receive a minimum of 10 hours of dual
instruction in the aircraft. Your insurance underwriter will
usually require this person be familiar with and qualified in
the Beech T-34. (One T-34
owner who responded to requests for answers to FAQs was told by
his insurance company it has to be someone who can instruct in
that specific model, and not just another ASEL plane, e.g. a Bonanza doesn't count.)
Q: How much training does an
insurance company require?
A: A fairly
common requirement is to receive a minimum of 10 hours of dual
instruction in the aircraft
Are there any "required" inspections other than an "annual" for
the T-34 due to its age or any other reasons?
A: As with any GA aircraft if you operate it commercially (for
hire) with passengers or for instruction then you must have a
100 hours inspection in additional to the annual inspection.
Depending on which AMOCs your T-34 has there are different
I believe the Continental 225 HP 0-470 is the stock engine that
came on the T-34, but recently saw one or two ads with the
0-550. I believe that to be a 285 HP engine, but not sure. What
are the benefits of one of these engines compared to the other?
Which engine do most T-34 owners prefer and why?
A: The stock aircraft came with a Continental O-470. Some later
aircraft had the O-470 260 hp engine. Many of today’s aircraft
have been modified to the IO-520 BB (285 hp) or the IO-550 B
(300 hp). A few have been upgraded to the IO-550 R (310 hp). The
IO-520 BB can be converted to an IO-550 B during overhaul.
Which engine to T-34 owners prefer? Whatever they can afford.
What are the flight performance figures for these
two engines? GPH, power settings, cruise speeds at the same
altitude? Range? Etc?
A: Depending on the airframe there is a climb and cruise
performance increase as well as reduction in takeoff roll. The
difference between an original 225 hp to a 300 hp can be quite
An IO-520 at 6,000’ and 75% power will give a 165 KTAS while
burning 15.5 gph at 50 degrees rich of peak
I've read some articles on GAMIjectors for the T-34. Do these
really perform, worth the cost and save 1-2 GPH as published in
the sales articles?
A: Depending upon the engine a savings of 1 – 2 gph is not
uncommon when running LOP with GAMI injectors.
What does a major overhaul cost on a 225 HP Continental? 285/300
A: Your overhaul cost will depend on how you operated the
engine, its time since last overhaul and total time on the
engine. Some average costs would be:
O-470 = $25,000
IO-520 = $28,000
IO-550 = $31,000
Q: What do they cost to operate?
A: This will depend upon how the aircraft is operated (i.e. ROP,
LOP, 75% power vs. 55% power, acro, formation, etc.)
The biggie on operating costs, of course, is avgas which as of
this writing (November 2011) costs $6.20 per gallon for 100LL.
At 15 GPH that equates $87 per hour just for gas. Here is one
person's WAG on operating costs -- things that get used up
(fuel, oil, tires, brakes, lights, engine, inspections, and
paint). Plugged values into a spreadsheet for each of these
items and came up with $125/hour.
Fixed costs in this person's
estimate (hangar, property taxes, insurance, annual inspection
and repairs, and business entity fees -- $800/year to state of
California for LLC that actually owns the airplane) comes to
$12,000 per year.
Q: Is there adequate support and
A: The T-34 is based on the Beech Bonanza which is still in
production. As a result there are plenty of parts available for
the T-34 from many suppliers. No one has a corner on the T-34
What loan company has been the most favored by
the Association Members for an aircraft loan to purchase a T-34.
What is the current interest rate and for how many years the
loan is for?
A: There are several lenders who are willing to lend on warbird
aircraft. In 2009 typical rates were 7.6% on a 20 year loan.
Are there any STCs for the T-34 and what would
A: There are many STCs available for the T-34 for upgraded
engines, wing tanks, avionics, and much more. We have
a page for STCs on our website but as you can see there isn't much of
Q: What is the community like? (are
they fun, communicative, welcoming, helpful, etc.)
A: The T-34 Association has more than 400 members worldwide.
There are large gatherings of T-34s every year at Oskosh,
Sun’n’Fun, Tulahoma, and numerous member hosted fly-ins
throughout the country and virtually every region has a group of
T-34’s nearby. Go to this
page for information on T-34 Association membership.
Q: Are T-34s on the verge of being
grounded for good?
A. No. Click
here for details.
Q: What are some of the ways to
return the T-34 to the original flight envelope?
A. There are several. Click
here for details.
Q: Are the T-34s fixed?
A: Were they ever broken?...but that
is another story. There are multiple AMOCs (Alternate Method of
Compliance) for the ADs (Airworthiness Directive) that were
issued by the FAA on the T-34 spars and center section. See
page for details about the various AMOCs.
Q: Why were the wings coming off?
A: Two words: Fatigue and abuse.
Click here for
Q: How much do the fixes cost?
here for details.
Q: How often do the fixes have to be
inspected and what is the cost?
A: Each of the AMOCs has a required
inspection interval. The good news is that they are all pretty
far out there compared to the original AD for the wing which
called for a re-inspection every 80 hours! See
this page for
re-inspection intervals. We do not have any cost estimates for
Could I get a brief story on the wing spar problem and the fixes
available? I have heard something about 4 different fixes. I
have yet to determine if one of these 4 fixes is all that is
needed to remove the performance restrictions or are all 4 fixes
needed, or a combination of some? Which is the best fix to have
done? What are the costs of these fixes?
A: The original wing spar AD (AD
2001-13-18 R1 ) called for recurring 80 hour inspections.
Four vendors came out with AMOCs (Alternate Method of
Compliance) for the AD. All of them raised the re-inspection
interval considerably. See "Wing Spar AMOCs" and "Center Section
AMOCs" on our
Airworthiness Issues page for details about the various
Are there any other flight control or mechanical
problems I should be concerned about cropping up in the future
as with the wing spar problem, such as corrosion problems,
original flight instruments or avionics replacements, etc?
A: As with any
aircraft a thorough pre-purchase inspection is highly
recommended. The T-34 has been in service now for 57+ years and
in that time has proven to be a rugged and reliable aircraft. A
properly maintained and cared for aircraft has no life limit and
with the attention that has been given the aircraft for the last
10 years the weakest areas of the aircraft have been addressed
and now have long term improvements. There is no reason to not
expect the T-34 to be flying for another 50+ years.