North American T-6 Texan / SNJ / Harvard
1935
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North American T-6 Texan / SNJ / Harvard

The first prototype NA-16 flew in April 1935. A total of about 17000 aircraft were built

AT-6


Specification 
 MODELSNJ-5
 CREW2
 ENGINE1 x Pratt-Whitney R-1340-AN-1, 410kW
 WEIGHTS
    Take-off weight2404 kg5300 lb
    Empty weight1886 kg4158 lb
 DIMENSIONS
    Wingspan12.81 m42 ft 0 in
    Length8.99 m30 ft 6 in
    Height3.58 m12 ft 9 in
    Wing area23.57 m2253.71 sq ft
 PERFORMANCE
    Max. speed330 km/h205 mph
    Ceiling6555 m21500 ft
    Range1200 km746 miles

3-View 
North American T-6 Texan / SNJ / HarvardA three-view drawing (674 x 878)

Comments1-20 21-40 41-60 61-80 81-100 101-120
Verne Lietz, 28.01.2010

Started flying the T-6 in 1949, class 50G, at Connally AFB, Waco, Texas, ended up after B-25 multi engine training as a basic instructor at Goodfellow AFB, San Angelo. 651 hours in the T-6 C,D, and G. Most memorable flight: student was having trouble with climbing turns on instruments in a T6G, so we got to 11,300 feet, then time to return to base. Told him to do a three turn spin and recover while still on instruments. He over corrected, spun the other way. Did another, same result. After third or fourth failure to come out we were getting down, so I said,"I've got it." My recovery attempt didn't work either, though I'd never had any problem previously or afterward. By then we were getting pretty low so I said, "Pop the (instrument) hood and if it doesn't come out, bail out." My next attempt worked, but we came out the bottom with about 300 feet to spare and somewhere around red line, pulled 6 Gs. My legs ached for about the next two hours. That summer we lost 7 planes,7 students and 4 instructors. A tech rep came from North American to give us a pep talk. Eventually there were no more accidents. Only one was ever accounted for, a Belgian student who a witness saw doing rudder controlled stalls, got into a dive and pulled the wings off. For my 60th birthday my kids hired a plane and pilot to give me a half hour ride. After about 10 minutes it seemed as though it hadn't been a day since the last previous flight. It was a great and rugged plane, just needed careful control on both take-off and landing. One of my buddies ground looped both left and right on his last flight during basic training and got both wing tips. The only one I damaged was from allowing a student to run a wing over an unlit boundary marker on a very dark night.

Verne Lietz, 28.01.2010

Started flying the T-6 in 1949, class 50G, at Connally AFB, Waco, Texas, ended up after B-25 multi engine training as a basic instructor at Goodfellow AFB, San Angelo. 651 hours in the T-6 C,D, and G. Most memorable flight: student was having trouble with climbing turns on instruments in a T6G, so we got to 11,300 feet, then time to return to base. Told him to do a three turn spin and recover while still on instruments. He over corrected, spun the other way. Did another, same result. After third or fourth failure to come out we were getting down, so I said,"I've got it." My recovery attempt didn't work either, though I'd never had any problem previously or afterward. By then we were getting pretty low so I said, "Pop the (instrument) hood and if it doesn't come out, bail out." My next attempt worked, but we came out the bottom with about 300 feet to spare and somewhere around red line, pulled 6 Gs. My legs ached for about the next two hours. That summer we lost 7 planes,7 students and 4 instructors. A tech rep came from North American to give us a pep talk. Eventually there were no more accidents. Only one was ever accounted for, a Belgian student who a witness saw doing rudder controlled stalls, got into a dive and pulled the wings off. For my 60th birthday my kids hired a plane and pilot to give me a half hour ride. After about 10 minutes it seemed as though it hadn't been a day since the last previous flight. It was a great and rugged plane, just needed careful control on both take-off and landing. One of my buddies ground looped both left and right on his last flight during basic training and got both wing tips. The only one I damaged was from allowing a student to run a wing over an unlit boundary marker on a very dark night.

Dennis Simpson, 22.01.2010

I was the owner of SNJ 5-B, N3689F.From 1973 to 1980,
I put 501 HR's on a nice SNJ.

Dick Cottle, 31.12.2009

Preflight at Malden MO in spring of '55. Apologies to the barge traffic at Cpe Girardo. It was early 'night owl' training for later duty in Nam.

Jim Hall, 23.12.2009

I flew AT6 Harvard Mk2's and Mk4's for total 7 years, (1961 to 1968), out of Calgary Alberta, Canada.
Harvards were just released from the RCAF and the company I flew for part time got a contract flying Hail-Suppression and purchased 4 MK2's and 3 years later upgraded to MK4's. The Harvard was strongly built and best suited for the turbulence associated with CB's that we flew close to while seeding.
Of the various aircraft I flew, I found the Harvard was the most challenging and fun to fly. One must be on top of it from start of taxi, to shut down at the end of the flight. If it got away from you on the ground, you were in for a ride of your life. (I speak from experience).
The batteries were old and we were continuously hand cranking them to get them started.
Aerobatics were part of the checkout and occasionally did them over the years to maintain our proficiency. Turbulence that we experienced would roll the aircraft and rather than fight it, just continue the roll.
The MK2's had rear seats removed and replaced with a gas tank. My longest flight was 6 hrs, 30 min. Thank heaven for the relief (pee) tube between your legs.
Our seeding pattern was a 50 mile track crawl, between slow flight and cruise, from west to east across the Province, following the forming and building of Thunderstorms.
The experience I acquired on the Harvard will never be forgotten and maybe some day write down my stories. I wonder if while sitting inside an AT6 today, if my memorized (RCAF) checklists would all come back to mind?
Jim Hall

Sam Herron, 03.12.2009

I flew the T-6G for 119:50 hours at Columbus MS in Class 54-0. I had logged 20:10 hours in the PA-18, so could only log enough for a total of 140:00 in Primary.

Jock Williams, 08.04.2009

I didn't train in the Harvard myself -we in the RCAF had the Tutor by that time -but I got the chance to "check out" about a dozen pilots of various experience levels at the Canadian Warplane Heritage in Hamilton Canada in about 1999.
By then,almost all of my students were tricycle gear pilots -even those who had flown the Harvard previously -and I was delighted that the lowest time guy of all -my own son Paul -who was an experienced Tiger Moth pilot was head and shoulders better than the rest although he had a fraction of their flying time. The reason? He had no "theory of his own" -and therefore did exactly as his instructor (and father) told him! I learned a lot during that process -and was pleased to introduce him to this classic but demanding aircraft. Many would say that the Harvard/Texan won WW2 in the air. It would be hard to debate!

Jock Williams

Bill Harrison, 07.03.2009

First SNJ flight on 29 April 1949 out of S. Whiting field. Instructor was Currie. Soloed 14 June 1949. Instructor was Hudspith. Completed 6 landings in the J aboard USS Cabot (CVL 28), in Pensacola Bay, on 23 February 1950. Bureau No. 51863. Shipboard Navy photographer took picture after last landing. Just like graduating from HS. A really sweet little plane. Very stable, very forgiving. Wish I had one now to fly around in. Regards, wph

robert kirkpatrick, 16.08.2008

Flew the Harvard at #2SFTS,RCAF Uplands, Ontario. Feb 1943 - May 1943.142 hrs. Great a/c. Going upside down brought many suprises from the a/c belly but a convenient way to occasionally retrieve something inadvertently dropped there.

Fritz Bott, 14.08.2008

Learned to fly in the SNJ at South Whiting Field in 1955. Loved the aircraft, particularly after I had enough practice taxiing, doing S-turns down the taxiways. Did my 6 carrier qualifications after FCLPs at Barin Field in 1956. It is still a great aircraft.

Hank Hoey, Lt.Col USAF Ret, 12.08.2008

Loved the T-6. First airplane I ever flew at Bartow AB, FL.. for 6 mos. Class 53-G (the last class to start out in the T-6) then on to Vance AFB, OK. with 40 hrs in T-28 and then up to north stage and the B-25. I don't understand Weathersbee's comment about not flying B-25 in Class 52-B at Reese AB, TX. I loved the B-25, only thing, a noisy cockpit. Would give anything to fly one again.

Mike G, 14.07.2008

Just read all the entries on this page and loved the history lesson from the guys who flew the T-6 in the 40's and 50's. I own one today, have about 300 hours in it, and it is still a sweet airplane. To answer the previous notes:
1) Yes - there are still tracks for your feet behind the rudder pedals, and if you drop anything - it still goes to the bottom of the fuselage!
2) Still fun to fly information - 50 of these great airplanes will converge in Dubuque, Iowa on July 24th, 2008, for 4 days of intense formation practice and to celebrate the 70th year of this great airplane. Then we will all fly up to Oshkosh for the big airshow.
3) Last I hear, there are about 400 still airworthy and flying.
Still a great aircraft!

Marv Garerison, 20.06.2008

The SNJ was my primary trainer at Pensacola. My log book indicates I flew it 222 hours. It was the first aircraft that I took aboard ship. I have the same number of take offs and landings.

Jim Bo, 17.06.2008

How about a word from the boys who kept them flying>>>.

Jim Bo, 17.06.2008

How about a word from the boys who kept them flying>>>.

Fred Burton, 13.06.2008

AD3 worked the flight line at NAAS Barin Field, Foley Alabama. Kenny "Snake" Stabler was the Foley High School Quarterback at the time. At Barin from May 56 - Sept 57. Had approx 200 to 250 SNJs (Bombing, Carrier Landing and Gunnery Training)and 8 Beechcraft (Cross country Training). Eligible for 1/2 Flight Skins per mo. so took back seat hops in Instructor Aircraft. Did touch and go's on USS Siapan and USS Antietam. Towed the sleeve while NavCads tried to shoot it. That's a scarey thought! And bombed targets in the swamps inland to the Gulf. Took a cross country hop to Montago Bay, Jamaca with two Marine Instructors. Had engine problems. Corrected while pilots went to town. Brought back 20+ cases of "medicinal" Rum "properly" weight distributed in the seats and throughout the aircraft. Got back to Barin Field and guess what -- Admiral's Inspection -- Base compliment lined up on runways. Tower not allowing any aircraft to land. Went to Mainside and stayed out at the end of the taxiway until radioed that inspection was over. Flew back to Barin was greeted by a happy bunch of "Stevedors." I think they were from the BOQ but, I won't tell! I was appropriately reimbursed for my efforts on behalf of the "Cold War." Or should I say "a chilled 1/2 case of Puerto Rican Rum." Back to the SNJ! Needless to say, from that day forward I earned my monthly skins flying with two great Marine Pilots - Semper Fi!!!

Ace Avakian, 07.06.2008

'Spent many hours flying day and night formation, aerobatics, cross country day and night and graduated class 44G at Luke...then to the P40, etc. A beautiful airplane on the ground and in the air. Many pleasant memories in this sweet airplane!

Stanley M. Weathersbee, 26.05.2008

I was in USAF Pilot Training Class 52-B. We took basic in the T-6. In the first 3 months of advance training at Reese AFB in Lubbock, Texas,we flew the T-6 instead of the T-28 because the T-28 was grounded for modification. We were then scheduled to fly the B-25 for the last phase of our flying training, but the Air Force decided they did not need multi-engine pilots and we finished our year of pilot training in the T-6. I wonder if any other USAF pilot training classes received their wings by flying only one aircraft. Let me know

Frank Hogarty, 03.05.2008

My first love as a trainer. I am really PO'd with the USAF for naming the Rayethon training wheeled, kerosene burning aircraft a T-6.

5894, 29.04.2008

Does anyone remember the T6 had no cockpit floor? The ones I flew had two heel tracks leading from the seat to under the rudder pedals. You always had your flashlight tied to your flight suit because if you dropped anything it was gone down to the bottom of the fuselage.

1-20 21-40 41-60 61-80 81-100 101-120

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