North American T-6 "Texan"

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North American T-6 Texan

North American Aviation, Inc., won a design competition for the United States Army Air Corps at Wright Field in March of 1937, for a new combat trainer aircraft equipped to simulate operational combat aircraft. The original designation for this aircraft was NA-26. It had retractable landing gear, two-way radio, additional engine and navigational instruments, and a 600-HP Pratt & Whitney R-1340 radial piston engine. North American built 41 aircraft under the designation BC-1. A total of 180 aircraft were produced in 1940, the designation changed from BC-1 to AT-6. These aircraft were equipped with the Pratt & Whitney R-1340-49 engine. In 1940, the need for an advanced trainer was so great that North American opened a second production line in Dallas, Texas. Later, the production line in Englewood, California, turned over all production of the AT-6 to the Dallas plant. The AT-6B was used as a gunnery training aircraft and had a Pratt & Whitney 600-HP engine. The AT-6C, due to a shortage of aluminum, used low-alloy steel and plywood. 2970 were built. The final production model was the AT-6F with 956 built. Over 2,000 AT-6’s were in service with the Army Air Corps after WWII. In July of 1950, a number of T-6’s were deployed to Korea to fly airborne forward air control “Mosquito” missions in support of United Nations troops in the front lines. North American built well over 10,000 versions of the AT-6. The Navy version was called the SNJ, the RAF, the Harvard, and the AAF nicknamed “D-Bird”, “SIX”, or “Texan”. The aircraft was a primary trainer for Army Air Corps and USAF pilots well into the 1950s. The T-6 Texan accommodates a crew of two, pupil and instructor, in tandem in an enclosed cockpit. Armament, if required, consists of one forward-firing fixed 0.03-inch machine gun and one rear-mounted 0.30-inch machine gun on a 360-degree swivel.

The aircraft on display is actually a SNJ-4, serial no. 51584, but painted and marked to depict a T-6D, serial no. 93477, assigned to Air Training Command at Randolph AFB, Texas, during 1954.


Wing Span: 42′
Length: 29′
Height: 10′ 10″
Gross Weight: 5,155 lbs
Speed: 210 mph
Range: 629 miles
Altitude: 23,200 feet
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