Bye Bye to Buckeye

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"I think it's going to bear out that the T-45 is going to be a great aircraft for the Navy though, because it's so versatile to the training you can conduct in it," said Cmdr. Mike Horsefield, a Navy pilot.

Classes 502 and 503 will be the last classes to train on both the older T-2 Buckeye and the T-45 Goshawk, but they may have an advantage over future trainees.

"Well, a couple of advantages that come up right away is that they are learning two different aircraft in roughly the same period of time and what that involves in studying systems," said Lt. Cmdr. Will Oliver, a pilot. "They have to learn analog aircraft and the digital at the same time."

The T-45 has many advantages over the older aircraft, many of which pilots say make it much more compatible with today's aircraft carriers.

"The T-45 goes into a digital glass cockpit. Basically it's incorporating a lot of the features in the aircraft that are going to be flying in the fleet. It has an updated GPS/INS navigation system, a heads up display and it's basically built to operate around the ship in a smoother, easier mode," said Horsefield.