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
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 toniferous2000@yahoo.com 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(@)aol.com, 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...

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

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

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