Model Airplane News
March, 1960

Model Airplane News Cover for March, 1960 by Jo Kotula North American AT6 Texan

North American AT-6 "Texan"
Model Airplane News Cover Art for March, 1960
by Jo Kotula
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The North American AT-6 "Texan" was a single-engine advanced trainer used by 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 the United States. It remains a popular aircraft, appearing regularly at air shows and World War II re-enactment events.

The North American AT6 Texan      The North American AT6 Texan

North American AT6 "Texan"
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The Texan originated from the North American NA-16 prototype (ca. 1935). The first model went in to production and 180 were supplied to the USAAC as the BC-1 and 400 to the RAF as the Harvard I.

 The North American AT6 Texan in Popular Mechanics Novmber 1938

North American AT-6 "Texan"
in Popular Mechanics Novmber, 1938
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The US Navy received 16 modified aircraft, designated the SNJ-1, and a further 61 as the SNJ-2 with a different engine. A further 92 BC-1A and three BC-2 aircraft were built before the shift to the "advanced trainer" designation, AT-6, which was equivalent to the BC-1A. The differences between the AT-6 and the BC-1 were new outer wing panels with a swept forward trailing edge, squared-off wingtips and a triangular rudder, producing the definitive Texan appearance. After a change to the rear of the canopy, the AT-6 was designated the Harvard II for RAF/RCAF orders and 1,173 were supplied by purchase or Lend Lease, mostly operating in Canada as part of the Empire Air Training Scheme. Next came the AT-6A. The USAAF received 1,549 and the US Navy 270 (as the SNJ-3). The AT-6B was built for gunnery training and could mount a .30 in machine gun on the forward fuselage. Canada's Noorduyn Aviation built an R-1340-AN-1-powered version of the AT-6A, which was supplied to the USAAF as the AT-16 (1,500 aircraft) and the RAF/RCAF as the Harvard IIB (2,485 aircraft), some of which also served with the Fleet Air Arm and Royal Canadian Navy.

Here is a video of the North American AT6 "Texan" in action:

In addition to the cover of Model Airplane News, this airplane was also featured in the WINGS "Friend or Foe" trading card series of the early 1950s

 Card 047 of the Wings Friend or Foe series The North American AT6 Texan

Trading card representation of the American AT6 "Texan"
Click Here to see all 200 cards in the series
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Click Here for more information about the North American AT6 "Texan".

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