Air Force to Cut Use of Jayhawk Trainer, Rely More on Simulators

The U.S. Air Force is working on a plan to cut back its use of the T-1 Jayhawk, the aircraft employed for advanced student pilot training of airmen learning to fly cargo, tanker or command-and-control aircraft.

Air Education and Training Command has created a new curriculum to heavily leverage a simulator-only course for those pilots and will downsize its fleet of 178 T-1 trainers over the coming years, the command confirmed in a recent email. The T-1 has been in use since the 1990s.

“Our aim is to reduce reliance on the platform,” Maj. Gen. Craig Wills, 19th Air Force commander, said in emailed responses. The plan is to phase out the T-1 aircraft altogether at Specialized Undergraduate Pilot Training locations between fiscal 2023 and 2025, he said. SUPT teaches basic fundamentals of flying, airmanship, instrument knowledge, rules and regulations.