North American developed a fabric-covered two-seat trainer known as the BT-9, which led to an metal-skinned version designated the BT-14, and a related type known as the NA-26. The BT-14 was a fixed landing gear aircraft (see http://www.wpafb.af.mil/museum/early_years/ey18.htm for a color photo), and it in turn was developed into a more refined version with retractable gear, designated the AT-6. Known as the AT-6 Texan to the USAAF, as the SNJ to the U.S. Navy, and as the Harvard to the Commonwealth air forces, the T-6 was the most universally used military training aircraft of all time. More than 17,000 examples of a number of versions were built, a number of which still fly today. Most all of the U.S. pilots in World War II flew this aircraft at one time in their career.
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Additional information on this aircraft can be found at Wikipedia here.
(updated February 2009)
North American AT-6
Type: two-seat advanced trainer Crew: 2: Pilot, trainee Armament: none (though some foriegn versions were armed for close air support roles. Specifications: Length: 29.6' 3" (8.99 m) Height: 11' 9" (3.58 m) Wing span: 42.25' (12.8 m) Wing area: 253.7 sq. ft (23.57 sq. m) Empty Weight: 4158 lbs (1886 kg) Takeoff Weight: 5300 lbs (2404 kg) maximum Propulsion: No. of Engines: 1 Powerplant: Pratt & Whitney R-1340-AN-1 Wasp Horsepower: 550 hp Performance: Range: 750 miles (1207 km) Cruise Speed: 170 mph (274 km/hr) Max Speed: 205 mph (330 km/hr) Ceiling: 21,500 ft (6555 m)
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