North American T-6 Texan / SNJ / Harvard
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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


 ENGINE1 x Pratt-Whitney R-1340-AN-1, 410kW
    Take-off weight2404 kg5300 lb
    Empty weight1886 kg4158 lb
    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
    Max. speed330 km/h205 mph
    Ceiling6555 m21500 ft
    Range1200 km746 miles

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

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George Jones, 04.10.2010

Iím sure many remember the relief tube clipped under the front seat. It was a rubber funnel on the end of a rubber tube that attached to a connection in the belly that led to a venturi mounted outside in the slipstream . Few used it unless they really had on a cross country where you could unbuckle the belts and harness and slide forward to aim into the downward tilted funnel. otherwise you got a lap full. When it worked well it sucked away the urine. There were a couple of problem areas. Mud wasps would plug up the venturi causing an overflow at the funnel. When so obstructed urine would stagnate in the tube to be released during inverted maneuvers showering the pilot. The urinal odor in one plane was traced to a tube detached from the venturi emptying directly into the belly.

Minor in the scheme of things, but an annoyance when itís happening to you. A simple solution was to limit coffee and fluids before a long flight.

George Jones, 29.09.2010

I have a couple of stories. Went through Navy flight training in the SNJ at Pensacola in 1950. Our class had several French Aeronautique-Navale cadets with whom we became fast friends. Does anyone remembers the solo formation training flights with the instructor observing from another plane and yelling at us on the radio to, Get right in there!, close it up!, close it up!, 10 feet down and 10 feet back. The trick was to sense the relative motion toward or away from the plane ahead of you soon enough so that only small power corrections would maintain distance. At first the power corrections were sloppy, too much or too little too late. Afternoon turbulence over the Gulf of Mexico didnít make it any easier. Well it happened, too much too late and the tail of a plane flown by a French cadet got shredded, but the shredder made it back with a badly vibrating engine, and the shredee was able to get out and parachute into the water as the SNJ disappeared with a big splash into the Gulf. I didnít see it happen, but we broke formation and watched a rescue boat fish him out. He said it all happened so fast he wasnít scared, but remembered pulling the rip cord, floating down, and the routine we learned in the swimming pool for unbuckling the harness and inflating the Mae West. He still had the rip cord. and a great story to tell.

Iím sure that was not the only time that happened. Maybe someone remembers other tails getting chewed up.

Jim Kelm, 27.09.2010

I flew the "6" at Bartow AB, FL in class 57-I. We were the last class in the AF to fly it, surrounded by T-28s & T-34s. (They couldn't figure out why we never taxi'd straight ahead like they did.) I remember on one of my first solos, the wind had changed direction as I was coming back to land. I was flying around trying to remember how to enter the pattern for the new runway. I happened to check 6 & saw five other T-6s in trail with me going everywhere I went. Little did they know !! Memories also include snap rolls, point rolls, instrument takeoffs under the hood, aural nulls, tossing out the roll of TP at 5,000' & seeing which of us solo students would be the last to cut it before it hit the ground, & many other great times. I was fortunate to be selected to fly the last AF training flight in the T-6 on graduation day in August, 1956. What a bird !!!

Dick Allen, 22.09.2010

I was in the first class, 45-B, to fly the AT-6 in "Basic" flying school @ Shaw field, Sumter, SC. It was a big transition from a Stearman to this airplane. I loved flying this airplane in both Basic and Advanced schools. I graduated in April 1945. We also flew the P-40 in Advanced at Napire Field, Dothan Alabama.

Bob, 10.09.2010

Class 55A, LAST class to go on to T-6 Instructor School at Craig AFB, AL. Went on to fly almost 1000 hours (total) in the Harvard Mk IV with NATO pilots and the new German Air Force in Germany. Have flown quite a few different types, but still love the "Texan". And I did get my allocated wing tip. Another story.

Joe LaBerg, 27.08.2010

I flew the T6G at Bartow Air Base Fla, in Hornet Class 54N, Hank. Loved that airplane too. The T34s came in a short time later.

Dick Suter, 27.08.2010

Flew the Texan at Bainbridge with a real horses-ass instructor. Then to Reese, Enid next for B-26 advanced.
Then to Kimpo (K-14) in the 6148th Tac Control Squadron (Mosquitos). Ended up with a little more than a thousand hours in a really great airplane.

Joseph Curry, 24.08.2010

finally found an old picture of our cadet class, 50 G, at Perrin. It is in front of the C-47. If anyone wishes a copy, em me.

Bob Hamblin, 21.08.2010

Flew the T-6 in AF Class 56 Lima at Hondo, TX. Had an instuctor that taught me to land tail wheel first and then bang the main gear and stay on the ground. Quite a plane to fly.

Joe Storey, 11.08.2010

In the summer of 1953 I was a new primary flight instructor at Whiting Field flying Navy SNJ's. One particular day I was giving a check ride, first doing high work and then down for landing practice at an outlying grass field. This field had a line of telephone poles along one side. The prevailing wind dictated a final approach over those poles and wires.
On one approach, the student got too low, but I thought we were OK. Just as we came up on the wires something caused us to drop like a rock. I hit full throttle, took control just as the plane shook,shuddered. but kept flying! After we had gone about half-way across the field, again the plane shook and shuddered. Apparently we had just caught the wires, pulling them off the whole line of poles before they parted.(leaving about 1500 feet of wire hanging on the plane). To make the story short, I finally got back to Whiting, was cleared to touch down on the second half of the runway(to allow for all the wires hanging off the wheels)
After landing uneventfully, the SNJ was found to have suffered absolutely no damage!The wires had somehow missed the prop and caught the oleo struts. (I kept this story secret for a long time).

Pete Mesmer, 14.06.2010

I never flew the T-6 in the military. My first experience with this bird was back in the sixties. My brother and I had found 5 SNJ's on one of the ramps at McArthur Airport up on Long Island. When we inquired about them, we were told that "tie down rent" had not been paid for some time and the ramp operator was going to push them in to the woods with a bulldozer. If we wanted one we could have it for 500 bucks. We went thru all the log books and picked the one with the lowest time. When we got it back to our ramp, we found the airplane needed a lot of "TLC". All the manuals came with the airplane so I began by reading the print off them. Within a year, we had all the control surfaces re-covered and had the engine running in top shape. As I recall, it had about 500 hours on it. I had stripped all the many coats of navy paint looking for any sign of fatigue or cracks. This lightened the airpland considerably and also reduced the drag. New tires and brakes were added. We thought we were ready to fly when the FAA told us the prop was too short. We found one in Pennsylvania in an old barn full of old T-6 parts. The guys name was Chris Stoltsfus and he let us have a "like new" prop for 600 bucks. Every piece of metal that was held with a screw was removed and the belly of the fuselage was cleaned spotless. We intended to do aerobtics with this bird and we didn't need dirt in our faces when turned upside down. Finally, we were ready to fly but we still had one problem. The tower at McArthur required two way radio contact and we had no radio. Not to worry___ the tower closed at 10 pm and went off the air. We waited and tossed a coin for who would be in the front seat. My brother kept winning. I think he was cheating, but no matter. He was already working for Eastern Airlines and had more experience than I had. We fired up and taxied out to R/W 6. With no intercom, there was virtually no communication between front and rear. I was busy making notes of pressures and temps. Full run-up and mag check____ that old engine sounded soooo sweet. Fred did a 360* turn to check for any possible traffic, lined up on the centerline and poured the coal to it. Neither one of us had ever flown a T-6 before, so this was an exciting moment. The landing lights were on and I thought___ WOW!!___ we're lighting up the whole airport! It didn't take long to realize we had a generator overvoltage. The takeoff was very smooth, flaps and gear retracted ok. We flew around Long Island for about an hour and headed back to the field. So far so good. The airplane handled like a gem. On final approach, flaps, gear down, tailwheel locked, landing lights_____ woops_____ both lights blew out. The generator overvoltage had taken its toll. The landing was without incident and we taxied back to our ramp. What a night!! we were, to say the least, ecstatic. I didn't take much to fix the overvoltge problem We still had to go thru an FAA inspection to get certified for an "N" number. When I went in to the FAA office at Zahns airport in Amityville, it became quite clear that the FAA did not want civilians flying these airplanes. The inspector was a former navy pilot and had flown the T-6. He wanted to know just how much I knew about the airplane. By the time we were thru, he had given me a complete oral exam. He soon discovered that I knew more about the airplane than he did. Even so, he refused to give me a certificate. He had one excuse after another for not giving me one. Finally, he told me he would give me a green light if we could find an experienced "TEST PILOT" to put the airplane thru its paces. He figured he had me, but he didn't know that I was a control tower operator at Republic Aviation and knew all the "test pilots" personally. While at work, I checked with all the guys to see if anyone had any T-6 time. One of our civilian test pilots, Lyle Monkton, said he had time in the airplane, but it was a long time ago. He agreed if I would give him a complete cockpit checkout and our checklists were in order. Well, he flew the airplane once around the pattern, landed and wrote "great airplane" in the logbook. The FAA had to relent and N-3630F was born. Everyone on the field was taking bets as to how long we would survive. First they gave us a week, then a month and on and on. Everyone was convinced this ole bird would eventually kill one or both of us. The airplane was hardly ever "right side up". As long as you kept positive Gs on the bird, oil and fuel pressure would remain up. I even did my own spin test. The FAA made us put a placard in the cockpit which said "INTENTIONAL SPINS PROHIBITED". I looked up the regulation specific to that placard and it said the placard could be removed if it could be demonstrated that the aircraft would recover within one turn after applying normal spin recovery technique. (nuetralize the stick and full opposite rudder). I proceeded off the south shore of Long Island, over the water, to ...

Arunesh Prasad, 04.05.2010

I was fortunate to have trained on this wonderful aircraft as a cadet in the Indian Air Force in early 1963. Later I trained on it as an Instructor pilot at the Air Force Flying Instructors School and went on to train new IAF pilots on the Harvard through their Intermediate phase of training. While I moved on to advanced training I continued flying this aircraft at Bangalore where we had two aircraft at our base. This is one aircraft, no pilot, who has had even one ride on it can ever forget. Unfortunately we have no Harvards flying in India anymore. I also flew the C-47 in the Himalayas and Canberra Bombers with the IAF. Ended up as an airline pilot flying B707, Airbus 310 and 747-200/300 and 400 series aircraft. Unfortunately we have no Harvards flying in India anymore and look forward to a ride on one in the US when I visit this year. Anyone willing to oblige? I will be in the Chicago area. Happy landings guys....

Tony, 11.04.2010

I LOVE the stories you guys tell. Please find my email address and send me more stories. I want to collect them and keep them going. Mail me at and tell me all of your stories. give me your name, of course but i wont need any other personal info. My grandfather was an artillery guy in the ETO during WW2 and I remember all his stories. Help me tell your story, too. Korea, 'Nam, whatever. I just wanna hear it. lemme have it. just send me an email with the subject "war stories" I am NOT a pro. I will make no money from this. learning your history is simply my passion.
Oh...and the t-6 was AWESOME...until you turned it over and it ran outta gas because it couldn't pick up fuel inverted. but it is beautiful in all its variants...SNJ, Harvard, Texan, Etc. were there any other variants?

NH Rackley, 29.03.2010

'Theee' pilot's airplane. I flew it in Norway at the invitation of Anders Saether 1980-1983 before the Scandanavian Historical Flight really got off to it's current multi-aircraft status. It made a pilot out of you because you have to anticipate your moves with aircraft energy and lift vice engine power.

Chris, 28.03.2010

This is a response to :Martin Stahl, stahlsturgis(@), 21.08.2007
The T-6 Texan was modified to look like A6M Zeros, FW-190's and even the P-47 for use in various war movies such as Tora!Tora!Tora! and A bridge Too Far.

I read you're post and now I remember that the Commemorative Air Force (formally the Confederate Air Force) had a Texan modified to look like a Zero, I went to their webpage, and they say it's en route to Japan. Any way I would just like to say that this is a truly amazing aircraft.

Chris Stallings, 19.03.2010

I appreciate everyone of you who have served in our military and "earned your wings" in the Pilot Maker. I earned my Private Pilot's license in the T-6G at 17 years old in 2003. My flight instructor owned the airplane, and I don't know if he was brave enough or dumb enough to let me fly it. Hardest part was finding a check pilot who was qualified to check me out. North American produced some great airplanes.

Joseph Curry, 17.03.2010

Class 50 G Perrin. 3rd hr in one when I was told to make an instrument take off, sheesh. I still have no idea why I didn't take out several runway lights. I must have bounced just right between them My Instructor had both feet on the cross bar with a cigar and was laughing his cottin pickin butt off while I was still wondering what had happened. sigh.

Incidentally, is anyone left from 50 G Perrin? If so contact me.

Ted Chapman, 05.02.2010

In 1943 I first flew the SNJ at Barin Field while in Pensacola, Fl. This was our first training with retractable gear after flying Vultee "vibraters" at Whiting. This was a versitile, very maneuverable, fun to fly plane. It is no wonder that so many are still flying today. I am jealous of you guys that own one.

Tom Langhout, 30.01.2010

I was a V5 Class 2B45 at Pensacola NAS in Feb 1945 - flew SNV Vultee Vibrators at Elyson Field,then flew the SNJ (Instrument flight training)at Whiting Field. Got my Wings of Gold & Ensign Bar after finishing advanced training in SNB2C A/C at Corey Field. I will never forget one "Unusual attitude" under the hood recovery on a SNJ flight at Whiting Field - the routine - first level your wings then stop the altimeter - I got the wings level but unknowingly I was upside down - ended up pulling thru the 1/2 loop and tried to stop the altimeter - (almost did stop it) - but it sure took a lot of forward stick pressure. Flying the SNJ in the Volunteer Reserves after WWII at Port Columbus in Columbus, Ohio was great in 1946 and 1947 when many veterans returned to college - some great memories from long ago. Flew PBYs out of Bronson Field Seaplane base at Perdido Bay and then PB4Y1 and PB4Y2s at NAS Hutchinson, KS.
Yes, I well remember the tracks for our feet in those SNJs.

Jack Guest, 28.01.2010

I took my basic training in Cornell Chipmonks at Cap de Madelaine in Quebec in 1943. All of my fellow classmates were posted to western Canada to train on mutti engines. Though my marks were very good my name was missing and I thought I had flunked. One of the guys said " you lucky ....., you got the only posting to Borden". He was right, I had been posted to #1 SFTS Camp Borden north of Toronto to train on Harvards, the Canadian AT6...It was a great aircraft, I graduated in May 1944 as a Pilot Officer. As a staff pilot, and subsequent tranfer to the RCNFAA (Navy) I accumulated about 800 hours in this aircraft. If anyone should be reading this who was alive during that period, my nickname was Beau...

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