If you had received your flight training as part of the WWII Empire Training Scheme, there is every chance that after your introduction to flight dynamics and controls aboard the De Havilland Tiger Moth, the next aircraft you would have been flying would have been the T-6 Texan advanced single engine, duel control trainer.
Known by the RAF as the Harvard, the North American T-6 was the primary USAAF trainer for all of its fighter and bomber pilots and was also used extensively in Canada as the primary trainer for Australian, New Zealand, South African and other Commonwealth nations who contributed to the British Commonwealth Air Training initiative designed to fast track combat pilots for the RAF.
With its Pratt & Whitney Wasp R-1340-AN-1 550 hp, air-cooled engine, the T-6 had a top speed of just over 205mph and during its operational life has been responsible for training several hundred thousand pilots in 34 different countries.
While considerably slower than a frontline fighter, the T-6 could roll, loop, spin snap and vertical roll and gave the novice pilot the best possible training in a range of tactics from ground attack, bombing and aerial combat. Equipped with bomb racks, blind flying instrumentation, gun and standard cameras, fixed and flexible guns the aircraft ensured its pilots received hands-on training with almost every device a military pilot would have to operate.
Initially produced with fixed landing gear in 1937, later versions were repowered and featured retractable landing gear and at the close of WWII, continued on as a military trainer through to the early days of the Korean War where it was also used as a surveillance spotter aircraft operated from aircraft carriers off the Korean Peninsular. Other nations also operated it as a basic combat aircraft including the Israeli Airforce during the final stages of the 1948 Arab-Israeli War as well as the Portuguese and French during military campaigns in the 1950s.
With over 15,495 produced, many T-6/Havards are still flying today and are a familiar sight at Airshows around the world.
All T-6 Texan Instruments listed below come complete with detailed Scale Model, Mango Wood Stand & Plaque plus Printed Fact Sheet featuring photo of instrument in aircraft cockpit.
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