Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Israel Day 5 - Israel Air Force Museum - The Tzukit

What the FooKit is a Tzukit you may be asking?

The IAI Tzukit is the Israeli upgraded (and some produced completely under license in Israel) French Fouga Magister jet trainer.

Formerly used as an initial jet trainer, a ground attack aircraft in the Six Day War, and as the aircraft of the Israeli Air force Acrobatic team, this 60's era design twin-engined jet has a storied history in IAF service.

Tzukits in the Six Day War accounted for and destroyed over 50 tanks and over 70 other armoured vehicles in close air support missions during the war.

Seating two, the aircraft offers speeds of up to 386 knots, a range of 499 nautical miles or 650 with external tanks, a ceiling of 30,000 feet and a nice fast rate of climb of over 3,000 feet per minute.

Lots of Tzukits are at the IAF Museum, Most in the Orange/White trainer color scheme:

The Tzukit is in that oh, so just almost but not really affordable range for private ownership in the US. Tzukits have been imported and are being offered for sale in around the $30K range.

Tempting right?

That unfortunately doesn't cover the (considerable) operating cost and likely steep refurb costs associated with the imported aircraft to get them certified to fly again, nor the need for an IFR rating, a multi-engine rating, and a type rating for the Tzukit. The training costs alone will total more than the cost of the aircraft itself.

But darn, that plane with its amazing history and capabilities and apparently nice flight characteristics gives me the wantsies rather badly.

Especially as at the museum I could climb into and enjoy it for at least a brief happy moment:

It's a comfy cockpit, easy to get into, controls very well laid out and organized and yep it induces a burning desire to take one home.

The Tzukit has now been replaced in its role in the IAF by the Beechcraft T-6 Texan II.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

The last I knew, a completely refurbished F-170 Magister could be gotten for $60K, or $15-$25K in various state of disrepair. The lower prices allowed one to choose avionics suite and livery, among other options. This was from a vendor located at KSBP. It's been about 15 years since the I last knew.