1953 NORTH AMERICAN T-6G TEXAN “HAPPY HOUR”

The North American Aviation T-6 Texan is a single-engine advanced trainer aircraft used to train pilots from the countries around the world during the World War II and in 1950s. The Texan originated from the North American NA-16 prototype (first flown on April 1, 1935), modified as the NA-26, was submitted for an USAAC “Basic Combat” aircraft competition in March 1937. The first model went into production as BC-1.

T-6 is known with a variety of designations depending on the model and operating air force. The USAAC and USAAF designated it as the AT-6, the United States Navy, the SNJ, and British Commonwealth air forces, the Harvard. After 1962, US forces designated it as T-6. A total of 15,495 planes were produced. It has tandem seating like most of the trainer aircrafts and retractable landing gear. Though most famous as a trainer, the T-6 Texan also won honors in the World War II and the early days of the Korean War. Including our country, the T-6 trained several hundred thousand pilots in 34 different countries over a period of 25 years. Although not as fast as a fighter, it was easy to maintain and repair, had more maneuverability and was easier to handle. It was designed to give the best possible training for all types of tactics, from ground strafing to bombardment and aerial dogfighting. T-6G Texan emerged between 1949 and 1953; the AT-6 variant was rebuilt with improved cockpit layout, increased fuel capacity, updated radios, modified landing gear with steerable tail wheel and a 600 – hp Pratt & Whitney R-1340-AN-1 radial engine. T-6 Texan / Harvard, which is one of the most produced aircrafts in the history of aviation, is also known with different titles such as “Mosquito, The Window Breaker, The Pilot Maker”. T-6 trained the young pilots of the WW II which prepared them to fly the legendary P-51 Mustang.

Over 600 T-6’s are still flying today. “Happy Hour” was one of the last 1000 T-6’s built. It was configured as a “G” model and was manufactured by North American Aviation in 1953 in Downey, California. It was flown in South African Air Force (SAAF). Today there are hundreds of Texans flying in private hands, and their value continues to increase. Since the WW II, it remains as a popular warbird aircraft used for airshow demonstrations, static displays and movies.

1953 model T-6G Texan / Harvard "Happy Hour" with serial number SA079 was brought to M.S.Ö. Air & Space Museum in August 2018 with the contributions of Tayfun USLU. 

T-6G of the museum at South African Air Force

Martin Pengelly Collection

Turkish Airforce T-6

Specifications:

Empty Weight

MTOW

Maximum Speed

Cruising Speed

Range

Service Ceiling

Rate of Climb

Wing Span

Height

Length

4158 lbs

2.404 KG

208 mph

144 mph

1.175 KM

7.400 MT (24,200 FEET)

1200 ft/min (6.1 m/s)

42 ft

11’8’’

29’

Empty Weight  4158 lbs

MTOW  5,617 lbs

Maximum Speed  208 mph

Cruising Speed  144 mph

Range  730 miles

Service Ceiling  24,200 ft

Rate of Climb  24,200 ft

Wing Span  1200 ft/min (6.1 m/s)

Height  42 ft

Length  29’