Tuesday, July 19, 2011
Rugged, relatively fast, and forgiving, North American's AT-6 Texan (or SNJ if you're in the Navy, or the Harvard if you're with the RAF) was an excellent advanced training craft. It was also a long serving one, with Harvards remaining in use with the South African air force until the mid 90's, as well as an example, brought on strength with the RAF in 1945, still being used as a helicopter chase plane as late as 1995. That's a pretty good run for an airframe designed in the mid 1930's!
The Texan was also built in fairly large numbers, and since it wasn't a combat plane they tended to remain fairly safe. Consequently a lot of them have survived, and they remain popular airshow attractions. This one made a perfect TtV subject.