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Red Checkers

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CT-4E Specifications

    Primary Function:
    Engine Mfg:
    Weight Empty:
    Max. Weight:
    Max. Speed:
    Climb Rate:
    First Flight:
    Year Deployed:
pilot + student
300 h.p.
1,780 lbs.
2,600 lbs.
23 ft. 5 in.
26 ft.
240 mph
1,830 fpm
600 miles
18,200 feet

Red Checkers

Pacific Aerospace CT-4 Airtrainer aircraft, similar to the ones used by the Red Checkers Royal New Zealand Air Force aerobatic team, have been training pilots since 1973. While a light wing loading and ample power to weight makes the CT-4 easy to fly, it has the strength to deal with the handling of student pilots and be successful as a training aircraft. The aircraft is certified for aerobatics.

Pilots like the aircraft because it is forgiving and easy to handle. Grounds crews like the CT-4 because of its reliability and ease of maintenance.

The CT-4 is IFR certified and an ideal aircraft for instrument training. Students who have mastered flying the CT-4 can easily transition to higher performance, more advanced aircraft.

Red Checkers in formation.

The Red Checkers, currently flying five Pacific Aerospace CT-4E Airtrainer aircraft, are the Royal New Zealand Air Force aerobatic team. The pilots are all flight school trainers.

Red Checkers AT-6 Harvard.

The Red Checkers were formed in 1967. They originally flew the AT-6 Harvard trainer aircraft that had a checkered paint scheme around their noses. The team flew the AT-6 until they were deactivated in 1973 due to budget issues.

Red Checkers original CT-4.

In 1980 the Red Checkers flew again, this time with the Pacific Aerospace CT-4 Airtrainer aircraft sporting the original team color scheme.

The Red Checkers transitioned to more powerful, improved CT-4E Airtrainers in 1991.

The CT-4E Airtrainers of the Red Checkers had their color scheme changed to the current yellow and black at the start of the 1994 season. The aircraft with the yellow and black color schemes continue to be used in their performances to this date.

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