The HARVARD ( or AT-6, Yale, Texan,
SNJ, Wirraway etc....these are all variants of the same airframe), is probably
the best known training aircraft of all time. Several generations have thrilled
to it's unforgettable roar. (Caused by the tips of its 9 foot propeller going
supersonic.) It was used as an advanced trainer by 137,000 aircrew who came from
all over the world to learn to fly in Canada as part of THE
BRITISH COMMONWEALTH AIR TRAINING PLAN.
It bridged the gap between the
elementary trainers of the day like the D.H. TIGER MOTH,
and the thoroughbred fighters such as the Spitfires, Hurricanes and Mustangs. It
was, of course fully aerobatic and pleasant to fly, but it had enough vices to
ensure that students learned to do things properly if they wished to survive.
In this capacity, it was used by almost every
major power and even as a combat aircraft from the
thirties into the sixties.
Versatility was designed in.
All of the major components were built up in jigs in what, today, would be
called "Modular" construction. Just about any aircraft in the series
could interchange its major components with any other.....leading to a huge and
highly confusing number of variations. It was, therefore, easily possible to
improve the line, and the aircraft was capable of serving in a large number of
light military and training roles.
Featuring heavy duty construction, roll bars and landing gear placed well forward (To prevent nosing
over), they were built to withstand the rigors of training. Many of these ruggedly built machines are still
THE CANADIAN HARVARD
CANADIAN HARVARD ASSOCIATION WEBSITE