Someday we will have an online, updateable database with all T-34
information in it. For now we have the following...
Beechcraft Model Numbers
Beechcraft opened for business in 1932
and named their designs "Model XX" where the first aircraft they
made was the Model 16. See
this page. In 1947 Beechcraft introduced the Model 35, the
original Bonanza with its relatively radical V-tail design. The T-34
which Beech called the Model 45 was adapted from the Bonanza.
So where did the A45, B45, and D45
designations come from and how does the T-34C fit into all of this?
According to Paul Pribble
owner of Mentor Aviation International which services T-34s operated
by governments around the world:
|All T-34 aircraft from the
manufacturer were originally identified as Beech model A-45,
both T-34A and T-34B. However when the civilian license
certification was approved the Civilian License T-34B became
the D-45 (according to the FAA) The civilian export version
was the B-45, and were not T-34A aircraft, all three are
basically the same with different equipment and specific
engineering changes which set them apart from each other.
The Turbo Mentor is Model 104.
In the serial number list (see below), I
currently adhere to the T-34A = A-45, T-34B = D45, etc. designations
but I am tempted to dump all of that and just list all T-34A, B, and
C as "Model 45" and be done with it.
There is one "Mentor" which Beechcraft
broke out of the pack: The Jet Mentor which they designated
at the Model 73. Only one was built. See
this page for everything I
have dug up on the Jet Mentor.
Beech Serial Number
I try to used Beech serial numbers to
track all T-34s. You will note that I use the Beech serial number as
the name of the page for each individual aircraft listed on the T-34
I found this on page 7 of T-34
Newsletter #43 from October 1986 which gives a broad view of
Beech serial numbers designations:
T-34 Model and Serial Numbers:
The Beech publications refer to the aircraft affected by
their model number and at times by their serial number as
well. The following should help put the different T-34 model
numbers and serial numbers into perspective:
A45 = T-34A (Built for USAF)
Beech Serial Numbers: G-7 to G-846
CCF Serial Numbers: 34-1 to 34-125
B45 - Export Version of T-34A Serial
Numbers: CG-1 to CG-224
D45 = T-34B
Serial Numbers: BG-1 to BG-423
1) B45 aircraft are not B models.
2) There is no export counterpart to the B model.
3) Some B models have an A45
model mistakenly stamped on a plate found in the rear
cockpit on the right side. It should read D45.
Japan was licensed to build T-34s as
well and I have no idea what format they used for their serial
numbers. Nor do I know if any of those T-34s are listed in my list
of T-34s described at the bottom fo this page.
USAF Serial Number & US Navy Bureau
The USAF and US Navy have interesting
ways of assigning serial numbers (the Navy calls them Bureau
Numbers) to their airplanes. As blocks of aircraft are procured they
were assigned serial numbers. In the Navy they started with "A1"
back in 1910 (or so), eventually dropped the "A" at the start, and
by the time the first T-34Bs were procured, that number had climbed
up to 140667. 140666 was the last of a block of North American
T-28Cs. So they just do continuous numbering.
USAF serial numbers start with the two
digits of the year the aircraft was procured (I think -- not
necessarily the year it was manufactured) and then 001, 002, etc.
The 1944 year group got up to 92103, a B-36B Peacemaker
bomber...which was never manufactured.
Where did I get all of the above info on
USAF serial numbers and USN bureau numbers? A gentleman by the name of
a self-proclaimed military aircraft serial number freak, has lists of
USAF and USN aircraft serial numbers with a few details about many
of the aircraft in the lists. Here are links to Mr. Baugher's lists
of USAF and USN serial numbers:
USAF serial number list:
US Navy serial number list:
FAA Registration Number
The most volatile number of a T-34 is
the FAA registration number (AKA "tail number" and "side number").
Like "vanity license plates", the aircraft owner can choose -- with
some constraints -- the tail number of their aircraft.
Registration numbers were not required
while the T-34s were flown in the military. As they were given to
various organizations (many to the Civil Air Patrol, military flying
clubs, etc.) they came under the jurisdiction of the FAA and had to
have FAA registration numbers assigned.
Many T-34s have been given tail numbers
like N134AB. All US registered airplanes have an "N" at the start.
Apparently you can't choose just "34" so many have a "134" and the
last two letters are usually the owners initials.
My T-34 was one of about 10 that were
given tail numbers at the same time from N12274 through N12288 --
mine was given N12281 in 1964 when it was transferred to the Civil
Air Patrol and it has had it ever since.
here to query the FAA's aircraft registration database. It will
open in a new window.
My T-34 List
T-34 serial number list: PDF
version and Excel spreadsheet
version. The starting point for this list was the information I pulled
from Lou Drendel's T-34 Mentor In Action book (click
here). Specifically, the T-34A (those for the USAF and Canadian-built T-34A) serial
number info is from page 7, T-34B serial number info from page 11, and
foreign sales (B-45s) info from page 17.
showed me an FAA document titled "Aircraft
Specification No. 5A3" (Reversion 26 dated March 26, 2007 -- click
see that document) that listed serial numbers CCF-34-1 through CCF-34-25
which were not included in the info on page 7 in "T-34 Mentor in Action". In
addition, the Royal Canadian Air Force serial numbers in this document were different for
CCF-34-26 through CCF-34-28 than what was listed on page 7 of "T-34
Mentor in Action". The FAA info looked more complete so I went with their
numbers vs. those in "T-34 Mentor in Action" for CCF-34-1 through CCF-34-28.
T-34C "bureau numbers" came from this
http://www.history.navy.mil/avh-1910/APP09.PDF. I compared the
T-34B bureau numbers that I had on the list as of 3/4/11 and found
four T-34Bs, 147543 through 147547 with a note that said "For MAP"
(as in "military assistance program?) and added them to my
list. So those aircraft may be
listed elsewhere in the my serial number list.