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North American T-6 Harvard

T-6 Harvard was used during World War 2 as an advanced trainer for allied fighter pilots-to-be. After basic flight training on Tiger Moths they switched to the T-6 for advanced flying and combat training.

Canada was one of the Common Wealth countries where British pilots attended flying schools before returning to Europe to take part in the war, after some time of schooling on the fighter they had been assigned to fly, for example Spitfire. In 1944 the Harvard - called Mk III by the RAF, was also imported to England, so that the pilots could train instrument flying in more typical weather conditions.


Harvard flew for the first time in 1935, and was manufactured until the 1950's. Approximately 15,000 were built in many different versions, first by North American in the USA, where it was called Texan, and later in Canada where it was called Harvard. SNJ was the name used by the US Navy.

Today you can see this aircraft in air shows quite often, as there are many airworthy Harvards still flying about in the skies.

Sk 16 above the clouds in 1953. Picture from the SFF archive.

The Swedish air force used Harvard as a trainer, and had the designation Sk 16. A couple of hundred were bought in 1947, most in excellent condition with very few flying hours. The last one was discharged in 1972.


T-6 Harvard making a low pass.