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FT229

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FT229 North American / Noorduyn AT-16-ND Harvard IIb c/n 14A-1269 - Royal Air Force - Duxford, UK - 7 August 1979 RNethAF B-194

The North American / Noorduyn AT-16-ND Harvard mk.IIB is a single-engined; two seat; low wing, advanced training aircraft with tandem cockpits and sliding enclosures and with a retractable undercarriage. Design and development of the North American T-6 series began with a 1934 US contract for a primary trainer to meet an US Army Air Corps requirement. The prototype of this primary trainer, the North American NA-16, a two-seat training aircraft with fixed undercarriage, first flew on 1 April 1935. The NA-16 was followed by a single preproduction aircraft, the NA-18, and finally by the NA-19 that first flew in April 1936 and entered sevice with the United States Army Air Corps as the BT-9 (basic trainer, type 9). The North American NA-26 was submitted as an entry for a USAAC "Basic Combat" aircraft competition in March 1937. The NA-26 design was derived from the North American BT-9, and had a retractable undercarriage, the more powerfull Pratt and Whitney R-1340 9 cylinder Wasp radial up front and some other refinements to the BT-9 airframe. The North American NA-26 prototype NX18990 was flying first on 11 February 1938. The North American NA-26 Basic Combat demonstrator NX18990 won the competition, and, in due course, with only minor modifications like the 600hp R-1340-47 engine, the NA-26 model entered production as Model NA-36 and 177 aircraft were supplied to the USAAC as the BC-1 (basic combat, type 1). The BC-1 was followed by the BC-1A (NA-55) with some airframe revisions (92 built); and a single BC-1B with a modified wing center-section. Thirty of the BC-1's were modified as BC-1I instrument trainers; and with the beginning of World War II 400 aircraft were ordered by the RAF as the Harvard I, an aircraft similar to BC-1 but without rear gun and with a 600hp R-1340-S3H1 engine. The US Navy received 16 modified aircraft, designated the SNJ-1, and a further 61 as the SNJ-2 with a different engine. The BC-1 was equipped with one nose-mounted .30-caliber machine gun that fired through the propeller and a second .30-caliber gun on a flexible mount in the rear cockpit. When the Basic Combat classification was abandoned, the BC-1A was redesignated AT-6. Originally designed by North American Aviation, as a Basic Combat aircraft, the T-6 is known by a variety of designations depending on the model and operating air force. The United States Army Air Corps (USAAC) and USAAF designated it as the AT-6, the United States Navy the SNJ, and British Commonwealth air forces the Harvard, the name by which it is best known outside of the US. In all, more than 20,000 airframes with varoiuos various modifications were built by North American Aviation and under license from North American Aviation in California, Texas, Montreal (by Noorduyn Aviation), Fort William, Ontario (by Canadian Car & Foundry) and as the Wirraway in Australia (by Commonwealth Aircraft Corporation). Starting in 1948, the new United States Air Force (USAF) designated it the T-6, with the USN following in 1962. It remains a popular warbird aircraft used for airshow demonstrations and static displays. It has also been used many times to simulate variousWorld War II aircraft.

The North American AT-16 Harvard IIB s/n 14A-1269 was built under license by Noorduyn Aviation Ltd., Montreal, Quebec, Canada, under USAAF serial 43-12970. In January 1944, the AT-16-ND was delivered under Lend-Lease arrangements to Great Britain and registered with the RAF as Harvard IIb FT229, but didn't enter service with the RAF and was returned to the US Government. On 14 May 1947, the aircraft was delivered as FT229 to the Royal Netherlands Army Air Force / Nederlandse Militaire Luchtvaart. In service with the Nederlandse Militaire Luchtvaart the aircraft was registered B-45. On 11 March 1953, the B-45 was transferred to the new established Koninklijke Luchtmacht (KLu) - Royal Netherlands Air Force. In 1969, North American / Noorduyn AT-16-ND Harvard IIB B-45was withdrawn from use by the Royal Netherlands Air Force and sold to Honcoop Trading Co in Veen. Honcoop Trading sold the airframe to Mr. J. Daams of Skylight, Hilversum. On 10 February 1970, the camouflaged Harvard was registered PH-SKM with J. Daams, Loosdrecht. On 30 November 1971, the PH-SKM was ferried to Blackbushe in the UK, and on 2 December 1972, registration PH-SKM was cancelled as exported to the UK. On 8 December 1971, the Harvard was registered G-AZKI in the UK with Fairoaks Aviation Services, Blackbushe. On 15 November 1973, the G-AZKI was registered with Anthony E. Hutton, London, who flew the aircraft 24 November 1981, the G-AZKI was registered with Terry S. Warre at the Isle of Wight. On 12 October 1982, the G-AZKI was transferred to Andrew D. M. Edie t/ 1986, registration G-AZKI was cancelled as exported to France. In 1986, the North American AT-16 Harvard IIB was registered first F-WZDS with Tony Handley, Montpellier. On 30 December 1987, the aircraft was registered F-AZDS with Chantal Handley, Montpellier. On 9 June 1988, the F-AZDS was registered with Jane Moselius Dreyer, Avignon. On 11 July 1990, the F-AZDS was regsitered with Association Française pour la Recherche et le Maintien en Vol d’Avions Historiques, Le Castellet. All those years in France the aircraft was flown as RAF FT229. On 10 January 1997, registration F-AZDS was cancelled as sold abroad. On 2 May 1997, the aircraft was registered N15014 in the US with General Aero Inc, Manassas, VA. On 3 DSecember 1999, the N15014 was registered with Westrum Enterprises, Norwalk, Iowa. On 18 January 2008, registration N15014 was cancelled as exported to Australia.
On 7 August 1979, the North American AT-16-ND Harvard IIB s/n 14A-1269 was seen as the RAF FT229 at Duxford in the UK.

page last updated 15-12-2020
Copyright © Jack Wolbrink, Emmen, the Netherlands
 

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