The first pair of Beechcraft T-6A trainers for the Iraqi air force left Wichita, Kansas on 1 December for a delivery flight that included stops in Des Moines, Iowa, and Toronto, Canada.
Carrying the registrations YI-501 and YI-502 and flown by company test pilots, the aircraft (pictured arriving in Toronto) had their national markings covered over for the transit. They will receive their full insignia on arrival in Iraq.
Both images © Andrew Cline
Hawker Beechcraft confirmed last September that it had received a contract to supply Iraq with eight T-6As, plus ground-based training systems, spare parts and logistics support. Baghdad could eventually boost its order to 20 of the aircraft, and potentially also buy enhanced T-6Bs.
Previous customers for the T-6A include Canada, Greece and the USA. Morocco earlier this year also signed a deal for 24 C-model examples of the turboprop-powered design.