T-29 History

Hill Aerospace Museum T-29 History


Convair built 472 T-29/C-131 for the USAF. 46 T-29As, 105 T-29Bs, 119 T-29Cs, 92 T-29Ds, 26 C-131As, 36 C-131Bs, 33 C-131Ds, and 15 C-131Es.


The exact numbers of T-29/C-131 assigned SAC is not known at this time. It is known that SAC used T-29As as a navigation and bombardier trainer to replace the B-25J. Fifteen C-131Es were built in 1956 and 1957 for use as electronic countermeasures trainers by SAC. SAC also used the aircraft for administrative support purposes.


Due to the rising need for an effective aircrew trainer, in 1948, Convair was successful in obtaining a contract from the USAF for a military conversion of the Consolidated Vultee 240-17 Convair-Liner to serve as a aircrew trainer. The Convair-Liner was the first post war commercial transport designed to replace the aging DC-3.

The first 240-17 prototype flew at San Diego on 16 March, 1947. The first T-29A made its initial flight on 22 September, 1949. The cabin has fourteen fully-equipped stations for students or instructors and one radio-operator's station. Each student has access to a map table, Loran scope, altimeter, and radio compass pa nel. In the roof of the fuselage are four astrodomes through which students can take sights with sextants. Five drift meters are also included.

I am stilll working on the Nav History project. Still need a set of HO 249s. Anyone know of anyone having anything we could supply to the Museum at Wright-Pat? Also does anyone have a lead on anyone having a T-29 that is well taken care of. I have located two not too good airframes, and need an interior for the museum.

Here is a link to Ken's Aviation BB.... this would be a good BB to go to for all of us to use. http://www.kensaviation.com/phpBB2/

December 28, 2004

Mr. Barrett:

I am a retired Air Force navigator/bombardier. I was a navigator instructor with the 3565 Navigator Training Group at the now closed James Connally AFB, Waco, Texas from 1954 to 1959. At that time their were no D model T-29s at Connally. I believe they D models were all at Mather AFB. I have about 1800 hrs in the T-29. Your pictures of the inside brought many good memories.

My understanding is that all Navy T-29s were exAF ones that had been used at the following navigator/bombardier training bases: James Connally AFB, Waco, Texas (now closed), Harlingen AFB, Harlingen, Texas (now closed), Ellington AFB, Houston, Texas (now closed), and Mather AFB, Sacramento, California (now closed).

There are other static displays of T-29s but I have no idea of the condition of their insides as they were when they were used for navigator/bombardier training by the Air Force. Museums spend little time and space on the T-29 or navigators or bombardiers.

The AF manuals were the 51-40 with volumes I, II, & III. Who owns the aircraft? Let me know what happens.

James (Jim) McGinnis, Lt. Col., USAF, Retired



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