Manufacturer: Lockheed / AerMacchi

Model: AL-326

Name: Kestrel

Type: Jet trainer


Status: Service test

Country: United States of America

Service: U.S. Army

Designation: YT-40A


Most aviation enthusiasts will know the T-37 Tweet and the T-38 Talon... Some will also remember the T-39 Sabreliner and the T-41 Mescalero... But what of the T-40? This designation was initially planned for a trainer version of Lockheed's Jetstar.

When this scheme failed to materialize, the designation was reused in 1965 for another Lockheed-related program, the T-40A Kestrel, which was simply a Macchi MB.326 marketed in the U.S. However, the Air Force didn't look favorably at the Army having a primary jet trainer type that wasn't in its own lineup, and after three years of pressuring Congress, top Air Force executives managed to have the T-40A withdrawn from service.

Photos of the Kestrel are pretty rare to come by, as only 10 aircraft were procured and were not used for very long. A nice color pic appeared in 1977 on the cover of Japanese magazine Koku-Fan (full size picture is reproduced just below it).

Note that the text underneath describes it as the "U.S. Army Lockheed/Macchi T-40 trainer" although the name Macchi wasn't actually part of the official name for the type, which official records list only as the "Lockheed T-40A Kestrel".


I haven't been able to trace the original image of the Macchi MB.326 that I used to create the Kestrel... Sorry about that!

Viewers' comments:
  • Cool :D (Roddy1990)
  • italian planes rule! (bluewolf7344)
  • Nifty trainer (Maverick)
  • Hehehe, I love the idea of the T-40 on a Koku-Fan cover! (PR19_Kit) 

My comments: