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Designed in 1948 by the brilliant Walter Beech, the T-34 Mentor was intended as a low cost replacement for the T-6/NJ Texan. The aircraft bore many similarities to the Beechcraft Bonanza, but had a two-seat cockpit with bubble canopy, and a conventional tail. The original T-34s were equipped with a piston engine. Fifteen years after production ceased, the design was upgraded and deliveries began of a turbo-prop equipped T-34C Turbo-Mentor, which remained in production until 1990. The T-34 is one of the most reliable aircraft of its type with many remaining in service today, six decades after it was first produced. Over 2300 Mentors in various versions were produced worldwide, including the T-34A for the Air Force and the T-34B variant for the U.S. Navy.