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United States' North American AT-6 Texan trainer

Photos

North American AT-6A trainer:
United States' North American AT-6A trainer
Aeronautics Aircraft Spotters' Handbook
North American AT-6A trainer:
United States' North American AT-6A trainer
Aeronautics Aircraft Spotters' Handbook
North American AT-6C, Harvard Mk II trainer:
United States' North American AT-6C, Harvard Mk II trainer
Aeronautics Aircraft Spotters' Handbook
North American AT-6C, Harvard Mk II trainer:
United States' North American AT-6C, Harvard Mk II trainer
Aeronautics Aircraft Spotters' Handbook
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North American AT-6 trainer:
United States' North American AT-6 trainer
North American AT-6 trainer:
United States' North American AT-6 trainer

Design

The North American AT-6 Texan became the most produced trainer. Development started in 1937 on its design.

The AT-6 Texan was a monoplane, single engine, trainer with retractable landing gear.

Prototype

The NA-16, with a fixed undercarriage, first flew in April 1935.

The NA-26, with retractable undercarriage, first flew in 1937.

Production

  • North American AT-6:
  • North American AT-6A: 1,549
  • North American AT-6B:
  • North American AT-6C: 2,970
  • North American AT-6D: 4,388
  • North American AT-6F: 956
  • Produced by:
    • North American Aviation Inc.: >15,000, 15,109
      • Location: Inglewood, California; Dallas, Texas (Douglas plant)
    • Noorduyn (Canada): 1,500 (AT-6A), 2,610

Variants

  • North American NA-16: Prototype.
  • North American NA-26: Prototype. Had Pratt & Whitney R-1340 radial engine.
  • North American BC-1 / North American Harvard I: First flew in February 1938.
  • North American BC-1A / North American Harvard II: Metal skin covering. Rudder was straight edged.
  • North American Harvard IIA: Wood replaced alluminum.
  • North American Harvard IIB: Canadian produced AT-6A.
  • North American Harvard III: Electronics upgraded. All metal construction.
  • North American SNJ-1: US Navy trainer.
  • North American SNJ-2: US Navy trainer.
  • North American SNJ-3: US Navy trainer. Instrument panel was modified. Had R-1340-AN engine.
  • North American SNJ-3C: US Navy trainer. Had tailhook.
  • North American SNJ-4: Wood replaced alluminum.
  • North American SNJ-5: Electronics upgraded. All metal construction.
  • North American SNJ-6: Canopy was clear.
  • North American AT-6: Was renamed in 1940 from BC-1A. Started to be delivered in 1940.
  • North American AT-6A: Instrument panel was modified. Fuels tanks were altered. New engine.
  • North American AT-6B: Had R-1340-AN engine. Used to train gunners.
  • North American AT-6C: Wood replaced alluminum.
  • North American AT-6D: Electronics upgraded. All metal construction. 24 volt electrical system.
  • North American AT-6F: Rear canopy was clear.
  • North American XAT-6E: Modified AT-6D with Ranger V-770-9 inverted V 12 engine (575 HP).

Usage

Countries that used the AT-6: Britain, Canada, France, Italy, Japan, Netherlands, New Zealand, South Africa, Southern Rhodesia, Soviet Union, Sweden, and the United States.

RAF and Commonwealth

The RAF and Commonwealth air forces used >5,000 AT-6 for training, which they called the Harvard.

The final British pilot to qualify in a Harvard was on March 23, 1955.

Korean War

In the Korean War some AT-6s were used as observation planes.

Specifications

  North American AT-6 Texan
Type Trainer
Crew 2
Engine (Type) Pratt & Whitney R-1340
Cylinders Radial 9
Cooling  
HP 600
Propeller blades 2
Dimensions  
Span 42' 0.25"
12.8 m
Length 29' 6"
8.99 m
Height 11' 8.5"
3.57 m
Wing area  
Weight  
Empty  
Loaded  
Performance  
Speed 208 mph
335 kph
Cruising speed  
Climb 1,640'/minute
500 m/minute
Climb to 10,000' /
3,048 m
7.4 minutes
Service ceiling 21,500'
6,553 m
Range 750 miles
1,207 km
Armament  
Wing roots 1 or 2: 0.3" MG
Rear cockpit 1: 0.3" MG
  North American AT-6A Texan
Type Trainer
Crew 2
Engine (Type) Pratt & Whitney Wasp
Pratt & Whitney R-1340-47 Wasp
Cylinders Radial 9
Cooling Air
HP 550, 600
Propeller blades  
Dimensions  
Span 42'
Length 29'
Height 11' 8"
Wing area  
Weight  
Empty  
Loaded 5,300 lb
Performance  
Speed 208 mph
Cruising speed  
Climb  
Service ceiling 24,200'
Range 750 miles
Armament 2: MG
Rear cockpit 1: MG
  North American AT-6C Texan
Type  
Crew  
Engine (Type)  
Cylinders  
Cooling  
HP  
Propeller blades  
Dimensions  
Span  
Length  
Height  
Wing area  
Weight  
Empty 4,158 lb
1,886 kg
Loaded 5,300 lb
2,404 kg
Performance  
Speed  
Cruising speed  
Climb  
Service ceiling  
Range  
Armament  
  North American Hardvard Mk II
Type Advanced combat trainer
Crew  
Engine (Type) Pratt & Whitney Wasp
Cylinders  
Cooling  
HP 550
Propeller blades  
Dimensions  
Span 42'
Length 28' 11"
Height 11' 8"
Wing area  
Weight  
Empty  
Loaded 5,200 lb
Performance  
Speed 200 mph
Cruising speed  
Climb  
Service ceiling  
Range 730 miles
Armament  

Sources:

  1. Aircraft of WWII, Stewart Wilson, 1998
  2. World War II Airplanes Volume 2, Enzo Angelucci, Paolo Matricardi, 1976
  3. Aeronautics Aircraft Spotters' Handbook, Ensign L. C. Guthman, 1943
20th Century American Military History Crucial Site