Noorduyn AT-16 Harvard IIB
In 1935 the General Aviation factory, the predecessor of the North American factories, released two designs. One of it was GA-16, a two seat aircraft, with fixed landing gear and a fabric covered fuselage.The engine used was a Wright Whirlwind R-975 rated 400 hp.
This aircraft, later known as NA-16, was in fact the ancestor of the well known AT-6 Harvard/Texan. (See also the page about the North American NA-16).
June 1937 an order was give to produce 58 BC-1’s (NA-36), a weapon trainer. This model had been extensively modified compared with the original NA-16, though the construction of the fuselage was almost unchanged.
A retractable landing gear was added, so a so called ‘leading edge fairing” was necessary and the centre section of the wing was enlarged with about 30 cm. The engine used was a Pratt & Whitney R-1340-47 Wasp rated 550 hp.
After the maiden flight of the new aircraft a modification of the vertical stabilizer was necessary and also the rudder was replaced with a more straight one.
- Harvard I:
- The RAF ordered in 1938 200 BC-1’s under the designation NA-49 (NA-16-1E). The RAF named these aircraft Harvard I; first example was handed over in October 1939.
In 1938 the US Navy ordered a ST (“scout trainer”). The BC-1 was tested and evaluated for this purpose. Fall of 1938 an initial order was given for the production of 16 aircraft under the designation SNJ-1.
Like the BT-14, the SNJ-1 was equipped with an all metal fuselage. Several modification of wings and rudder were added. The engine was a Pratt & Whitney R-1340-6 Wasp rated 550 hp. The wooden propeller was replaced with a metal, two bladed adjustable propeller.
The USAAC was convinced of the advantages of the new aircraft and ordered three aircraft under the designation BC-2 (NA-54), according a new specification.
This type had a metal fuselage, retractable landing gear and a straight rudder. The engine was a Pratt & Whitney R12340-45 rated 600 hp with a three blade, adjustable propeller.
Because of the new engine the cowling and air intakes had to be revised.
During the evaluation the three blade propeller offered no advantage compared with the two bladed prop, so these props were soon replaced with two bladed propellers. A additional order of 83 aircraft under the designation BC-1A (NA-55-1) was given.
France ordered 230 aircraft designated NA-57. These were equipped with metric equipment and a Wright R-975-E3 rated 420 hp. [in fact these aircraft were identical to the NA-23]. All aircraft were delivered, fifty of them were captured and used by the Germans.
In 1939 the USAAC ordered 94 BC-1A (NA-59). The USAAC had changed their designation system, so these aircraft received the designation AT-6. The aircraft had a large DF-antenna under the fuselage, it was possible to add a fixed machine gun in the nose and a movable one in the rear cockpit. This series was mainly used for gunnery training.
The RAF ordered spring 1938 another 30 examples NA-16-1E (NA-61); these were virtually identical to the earlier ordered aircraft.
- Harvard II:
- The Harvard Mk II was practically identical to the BC-1A.
it was equipped with British equipment, radio, control-stick and instruments.
Remarkable was the deletion of the rather large antenna on the fuselage in front of the canopy, the lengthened exhaust for the cockpit heating. The engine was a Pratt & Whitney R-1340-53H1.
The RAF ordered 600 examples at the end of 1939, designated as NA-66.
On behalf of the Canadian Air force an second order for 10 aircraft followed.The French ordered a further 450 aircraft, designated NA-76, these were equipped with French instruments, also the antenna was added. The RAF ordered in July 1940 another 125 examples.
- Harvard IIA:
- The Harvard IIA was in fact identical to the AT-6C, but equipped with British instruments. 747 were delivered to the RAF under Lend lease conditions, designated NA-88. This model lacked the extended exhaust.
- Harvard IIB:
- The Harvard IIB was identical to the BC-1A/AT-6A and was built under license and according to RAF specifications at the Noorduijn factories, Canada. A difference with the US version was the circular RAF-grip of the control stick.
This model was equipped with a Pratt & Whitney R-1340-AN-1 Wasp . A fixed machine gun could be mounted in the starboard wing, also two light bombs could be used. The rear cockpit lacked the provision for the movable machine gun, so this part of the canopy was modified. In fact the same canopy as the canopy of the BT-14 Yale was used. [the Dutch Harvards were of this type!]
The first order of 210 aircraft for the Canadian Air Force plus an additional order of the US government for the Canadian Air Force (lend -lease) were built, For administrative reasons these aircraft received the designation AT-16. Later a common like order for 900 aircraft for the RAF followed.
|USAAF- Fisc. year nr.||User||Serials|
|RCAF||3034 – 3133|
|Idem||3234 – 3343|
|43-34615 – 43-34914||RAF||FX198 – FX497|
|Idem||KF100 – KF757|
|Cancelled||Idem||KF758 – KF900|
|Idem||KF901 – KF999|
|Cancelled||Idem||KG100 – KG309|
|42-464 – 42-963||Idem||FE267 – FE766|
|42-12254 – 42-12486||Idem||FE767 – FF999|
|43-12502 – 43-12840||Idem||FS661 – FS999|
|43-12841 – 43-13201||Idem||FT100 – FT460|
|Length:||8,99 m||Wingspan:||12,8 m|
|Height:||3,56 m||Wing area:||23 m2|
|Empty weight:||1886 kg||Max. start weight:||2548 kg|
|Max. speed:||341 km/hr||Climbing speed:||- m/min|
|Cruising speed:||273 km/hr|
|Range:||1400 km||Service ceiling:||6600 m|
|Engine type:||One Pratt & Whitney R-1340-AN-1 rated 550 hp|
|Crew:||Two men: one instructor plus one pupil|
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