North American T-6 Texan (Trainer)
MAKE: North American Aviation
NUMBER BUILT: 15,495
NICKNAME: Pilot Maker, Old Growler
Located in Hangar 79
The North American T-6 Texan prepared pilots for combat, earning the “pilot maker.” The Texan served as a basic combat trainer throughout World War II and beyond. The original AT-6 Texans differed little from subsequent versions, which saw increased fuel capacity, stronger, lighter frames constructed of light alloys, and a steerable tail-wheel. More than 17,000 airframes were designed to the Texan standards. North American’s rapid production of the T-6 Texan coincided with the increased wartime production in the United States.
By 1940, the required flight hours for combat pilots was cut to just 200 during a shortened seven month training period. Of those hours, 75 were logged in the AT-6.
U. S. Navy pilots flew the trainer airplane extensively, under the SNJ designation, the most common of these being the SNJ-4, SNJ-5 and SNJ-6. U. S. Air Force and U. S. Naval forces in the Korean War modified the Texan under the LT-6G designation and employed it in battlefield surveillance.
CONTRACTOR: North American Aviation
DATE DEPLOYED: First flight, April 1935; Operational 1938
PROPULSION: One 550-hp Pratt & Whitney R-1340-AN-1 radial piston engine
SPAN: 42 feet (12.81 m)
LENGTH: 29 feet 6 inches (9 m)
HEIGHT: 11 feet 9 inches (3.6 m)
WEIGHT: 5,300 pounds (2404 kg)
MAXIMUM SPEED: 205 mph (329.9 km/h)
CRUISING SPEED: 145 mph (233 km/h)
SERVICE CEILING: 21,500 feet (6.6 km)
RANGE: 750 miles (1207 km)
ARMAMENT: Provision for up to 3× 0.30 in (7.62 mm) machine gun