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Jaime Carreon
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Cold War misfitTemco TT-1 Pinto, Aurora 1/48

February 7, 2023 · in Aviation · · 20 · 0.9K

The Temco (Texas Engineering and Manufacturing Company) was based in Dallas, and specialized mainly in producing aircraft parts for various other manufacturers. In the mid 50's The US Air Force issued a specification for a jet primary trainer with the aim of eliminating the transition from piston to jet aircraft. That contract was won by the Cessna T-37, the Temco entry was this aircraft, the TT-1 Pinto. While the Air Force passed on the Pinto, the Navy also expressed interest, and in the end, 15 were built for that service. The airplane was powered by a single J-69 engine (the T-37 has two of these) and turned out to be quite underpowered, though it was reportedly a good flying airplane. The Pinto equipped one Navy training squadron, and several went to the Naval Air Test Center for evaluation. They were only in service for a year, from 1959 to 1960, but did make minor aviation history when a Navy ensign became the first pilot to complete primary flight training completely in a jet, the TT-1. After their military service, many were obtained by civilians and modified by installing the more powerful J-85, turning it into the Super Pinto.

I am an absolute s****r for misfit models, and this one falls into that category. This is either a Strombecker or kit from the late 50s / early 60s, which makes it about as old as I am. I got it in a box of castoffs from friend Jack, and it sat in a box in my closet collecting dust for a lot of years. It caught my eye one day, so I pulled it out, glued all the broken off parts back on, and the build was on. Cockpit is scratchbuilt from junkbox parts, as is the landing gear. Gear doors are plastic card cut to shape. Another good friend, John, spent way too much time and effort making a mold and vacuforming canopies, and friend Cliff printed up a set of decals. Big thanks to all of them, couldn't have done this without y'all!

This model represents one of the NATC airplanes, finished in the standard yellow trainer scheme. It's not a contest model by any means, but it does make an odd and unusual addition to my plastic air force.

Reader reactions:
19  Awesome

6 additional images. Click to enlarge.

20 responses

  1. Jaime, that's a very interesting a/c and I love the build, very eye catching...well done!

  2. Excellent! And yes, looks to originally have been a Stormbecker new kit in 1958, then Aurora later on. I love vintage kits, well done!

  3. Jaime Carreon (@jetmex)
    I have never seen one of these kits before. Nor have I heard of the aircraft either. Thanks for sharing this one with us. Take care buddy.

  4. I always thought these looked really cool. Good job on a challenging model!

  5. Back in the 70s, there was a guy who had one of the "Super Pintos" who flew it on the airshow aerobatics presentation circuit. I saw him over 2-3 years at Reno. It looked like a nice flying airplane, with the power of the J-85. I talked to him once and he said he wouldn't fly one "around the circuit" with the original engine, it was so underpowered.

    Nice work on this - it started out a Strombecker kit then got picked up by Aurora when Strombecker finally bitthe dust.

  6. Neat work, Jaime, well done for finishing this old kit.

  7. Amazing job over this elderly mold, Jaime! A rarely seen model.

  8. Excellent result, Jaime @jetmex
    To me it looks like a winner and can easily attend in contests.

  9. Well done Jaime , I've never heard of this aircraft. Amazing collaboration of friends to get it finished to this high standard , a real "one off" she get lots of attention at club days .

  10. Nice work, Jaime. This is a kit you never see anymore. Thanks for sharing it.

  11. A Golden Oldie. literally. Great work.

  12. Thanks for the kind words, everyone! Friends are what this hobby is all about, and I'm fortunate to have ones that tolerate my eccentricities when it comes to model subjects!

  13. She is a beauty! I was rummaging around in my LHS a few years back and saw a 1/72 kit of this by Special Hobby - and had to have it! I'm like you - love the unusual stuff!

  14. Looks like something from eggplane series... But You made the great looking model!

  15. Great build of an obscure aircraft Jaime. Looks cracking in the yellow. Very nice 👍

  16. Damn that is an Ugly Plane, but I would add a Masterful Build. From what you said you really have accomplished a lot with this build. It really is a good looking model of a very ugly plane. Congratulations on your accomplishment. I had never heard of this plane prior to seeing this, so I appreciate that brief history too.

  17. Nice restoration! I wondered if it was the Strombecker /Aurora kit. The oldest kit that I have is Revells 1/48 chevy stake truck, it was my uncle's, before he gave it to me gave it to me way back when.

  18. Great looking plane. Looks like the little brother of a T-2 Buckeye.

  19. I have both the Strombecker and Aurora kits and they are the same. Nice result on a rivet monster! We had one when I was in A&E school that I worked on some and dreamed of flying, but that was not going to happen.

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