The back seat instrument panel on the NASA T-34C chase plane. In its role as a military trainer, the instructor pilot would ride in the back seat, while the student would be in the front seat. As a chase plane, the back seat would be occupied by a photographer. The aircraft was previously used at the Lewis Research Center in propulsion experiments involving turboprop engines, and was used as a chase aircraft at Dryden for smaller and slower research projects.
Chase aircraft accompany research flights for photography and video purposes, and also as support for safety and research. At Dryden, the T-34 is used mainly for smaller remotely piloted vehicles which fly slower than NASA's F-18's, used for larger scale projects. This aircraft was returned to the U.S. Navy in May of 2002.
The T-34C, built by Beech, carries a crew of 2 and is nicknamed the Mentor.