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United States' Vultee Valiant trainer

Photos

Vultee BT-15 Valiant trainer:
United States' Vultee BT-15 Valiant trainer
Aeronautics Aircraft Spotters' Handbook
Vultee BT-15 Valiant trainer:
United States' Vultee BT-15 Valiant trainer
Aeronautics Aircraft Spotters' Handbook

Design

The Vultee Valiant started out as a private venture, the Vultee Model 54, and was tested by the United States Army Air Corps (USAAC). in 1938. The Vultee Model 54 had a Wright R-1340 (600 HP) engine and retractable landing gear. This was considered to powerful and complicated for basic training. Vultee redesigned the plane to have fixed landing gear and a less powerful engine.

Engines

Pratt & Whitney couldn't keep up with production of their R-985 Wasp engines so Wright produced around 1,700 R-975 Cyclones that were fitted in the BT-15.

Production

In September 1939 the USAAC ordered 300 Valiants. In 1941 a follow up order of 2,000 was placed.

In August 1940 the United States Navy ordered Valiants.

  • BT-13: 300
  • BT-13A: 6,407
  • BT-13B: 1,125
  • BT-15: 1,693
  • SNV-1: 1,350
  • SNV-2: 650
  • Total: 11,525
  • XBT-16: 1

Variants

  • BT-13: Initial production model.
  • BT-13A: Main production model.
  • BT-13B: Had 24 volt electrical system.
  • BT-15: Wright R-975 Cyclone engine.
  • SNV-1: United States Navy version of the BT-13A.
  • SNV-2: United States Navy version of the BT-13B.
  • XBT-16: Vidal rebuilt a BT-13 with a plastic fuselage. Experimental only.

Usage

The Vultee Valiant was used by the United States as a basic trainer for navigational and blind flying.

Specifications

  Vultee Valiant
Type Trainer
Crew 2
Engine (Type)  
Cylinders  
Cooling  
HP  
Propeller blades  
Dimensions  
Span 42'
12.8 m
Length 28' 10"
8.79 m
Height 11' 6"
3.5 m
Wing area  
Weight  
Empty  
Loaded  
Performance  
Speed  
Cruising speed  
Climb  
Service ceiling  
Range  
Armament  
  Vultee Valiant BT-13A
Type  
Crew  
Engine (Type) Pratt & Whitney R-985-AN-1 Wasp Junior
Cylinders Radial 9
Cooling  
HP 450
Propeller blades 2
Dimensions  
Span  
Length  
Height  
Wing area  
Weight  
Empty 3,375 lb
1,531 kg
Loaded 4,496 lb
2,039 kg
Performance  
Speed 180 mph
290 kph
Cruising speed  
Climb to 10,000' /
3,048 m
9.2 minutes
Service ceiling 21,650'
6,600 m
Range 725 miles
1,167 km
Armament  
  Vultee Valiant BT-15
Type Trainer
Crew  
Engine (Type) 1: Wright
1: Wright R-975-11 Whirlwind
OR 1: Pratt & Whitney
Cylinders Radial, Radial 9
Cooling  
HP Pratt & Whitney: 450
Wright: 420
Propeller blades 2
Dimensions  
Span 42'
Length 28' 7"
Height 9' 1"
Wing area  
Weight  
Empty  
Loaded 3,990 lb
Performance  
Speed 182 mph
Cruising speed  
Climb  
Service ceiling  
Range 730 miles
Armament  
  Vultee Valiant SNV
Type  
Crew  
Engine (Type) Pratt & Whitney R-985-AN-1 Wasp Junior
Cylinders Radial 9
Cooling  
HP 450
Propeller blades 2
Dimensions  
Span  
Length  
Height  
Wing area  
Weight  
Empty  
Loaded 4,360 lb
1,978 kg
Performance  
Speed  
Cruising speed  
Climb  
Service ceiling  
Range  
Armament  

Sources:

  1. Aircraft of WWII, Stewart Wilson, 1998
  2. Aeronautics Aircraft Spotters' Handbook, Ensign L. C. Guthman, 1943
20th Century American Military History Crucial Site