- Max Speed: 205 mph
- Cruising Speed: 150 mph
- Range: 750 miles
- Service Ceiling: 21,500 feet
- Wingspan: 42’ 0”
- Length: 28’ 11”
- Height: 11’ 8”
- Weight: 5,250 lbs normal
Two 30 cal forward firing machine guns, 100 lbs and 25 lbs bombs
600hp Pratt & Whitney R-1340-AN1 air cooled radial
The North American T-6 Texan is a single-engine advanced trainer aircraft used to train fighter pilots of the United States Army Air Forces, United States Navy, Royal Air Force and other air forces of the British Commonwealth during World War II. Designed by North American Aviation, The T-6 is known by a variety of designations depending on the model and operating air force. The USAAC designated it as the “AT-6”, the US Navy the “SNJ”, and British Commonwealth air forces, the “Harvard”, the name it is best known by outside of North America. Variations and production continued until the early 50’s. During the Korean War and to a lesser extent, the Vietnam war, T-6s were pressed into service as forward air control aircraft. These aircraft were designated T-6 “Mosquito”s.
After serving in the military, many a venerable T6 went on to be used in the civilian world as a racer and as a safe and reliable way to ‘get into’ warbirds. Today, of the 17,000 T6’s that were built, about 350 remain in flying condition.
This AT-6F was built by North American Aviation in Dallas, TX and was delivered to the US Army Air Forces on March 23, 1945. According to its records it spent the next 10 years attached to various Air Base Wings at Wright-Patterson AFB, Amarillo AFB, and Edwards AFB where it was converted to an ET-6F, and was used as an electronics testing platform.In December of 1954 it was sent to Davis-Monthan AFB for storage, and was ultimately dropped from the USAF inventory in September of 1955.
In June 1957, the aircraft was sold by the USAF and ended up with a private owner in Dallas, TX. It bounced around between different owners through the mid-60’s before Charles Saunders purchased it and used it as a race aircraft. He flew it as race #70, with the name ‘Old Betsy’. The Reno Air Race results database indicates that they competed and logged official times in 1971 and 1974. Their best finish was 3rd in 1974 with a time of 05:39 at 191mph over 6 laps (18 miles).
HFM’s Director of Maintenance & Operations, Alan Anders, purchased the aircraft for his own use and to fly in support of the Museum in 2002. It is a mainstay at Museum events, is used for formation flight proficiency, and supports Veteran and other memorial fly-bys.