The Harvard is recognized as the greatest advanced training aircraft of the war. With its near fighter-like size and handling, the Harvard was the bridge between primary trainers such as the Tiger Moth and the high performance fighters of the day such as the Spitfire or Hurricane. Nearly 50,000 Allied pilots received their wings after qualifying on the Harvard at air training bases across the breadth of Canada as part of the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan (BCATP) - the “Aerodrome of Democracy”. Somewhat forgiving to fly, the Harvard was an able trainer, but had just enough quirks and vices to keep students on their toes.
The Harvard was initially an American design known as the AT-6 Texan and dates to 1935. But its robust construction means that many of the more than 21,000 built in the USA, Canada and Australia are still flying today - 70 years later. The Harvard 4 of Vintage Wings of Canada is painted in the standard all-over yellow paint scheme given to all training aircraft of the BCATP as well as postwar examples like this to make them highly visible in the crowded skies over training bases and also to make them easier to spot on the ground should they be forced down.
- First Flight: 1935
- Total Production (All Marks): 21,342
- Wingspan: 37 feet
- Engine: Pratt and Whitney R-1340
- Maximum Speed: 200+ mph