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Vultee BT-13 Valiant Basic Trainer Aircraft (1939)

Authored By Staff Writer | Last Updated: 5/23/2015

The Vultee BT-13 Valiant was one of the more outstanding trainer aircraft of World War 2.

The BT-13 Valiant was a stellar trainer aircraft used for basic flight training and for blind instrument training throughout World War 2. The rear cockpit was equipped with a curtain that could be moved forward to cover the student pilot's vision, forcing him to fly by the aircraft by the five basic instruments: altimeter, air-speed indicator, compass, bank and turn indicators, and an optional tachometer. The BT-13 series differed slightly from the training offered with the AT-6 Texan in that it did not have retractable landing gear. The first delivery to the military was in 1942.

The BT-13 series spawned a few variants including a "A" and a "B" model, both fitted with Pratt & Whitney brand engines. The BT-15 appeared along with the introduction of Wright radial engines to help handle rising production needs. The United States Navy operated the BT-13A and BT-13B as the SNV-1 and SNV-2 respectively. Total production of the BT Valiant series as a whole amounted to over 11,500 examples, some which still fly in the hands of private collectors today.

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Specifications for the
Vultee BT-13 Valiant
Basic Trainer Aircraft

Focus Model: Vultee BT-13A Valiant
Country of Origin: United States
Manufacturer: Vultee Aircraft - USA
Initial Year of Service: 1939
Production Total: 11,537

Crew: 2

Length: 28.74 ft (8.76 m)
Width: 42.19 ft (12.86 m)
Height: 12.30ft (3.75 m)
Weight (Empty): 0 lb (0 kg)
Weight (MTOW): 4,365 lb (1,980 kg)

Powerplant: 1 x Pratt & Whitney R-985-AN-1 Wasp Jr 9-cylinder radial engine developing 450 horsepower.

Maximum Speed: 183 mph (295 kmh; 159 kts)
Maximum Range: 513 miles (826 km)
Service Ceiling: 16,503 ft (5,030 m; 3.1 miles)
Rate-of-Climb: 0 feet-per-minute (0 m/min)

Hardpoints: 0
Armament Suite:

V-51 - Prototype

BC-51 - Prototype Designation for USAAC contract competition.

VF-51 - Based on the BC-51 prototype

VF-54 - Refined VF-51 design

VF-54A - Revised VF-54 model

BT-13 USAAC Base Production Model Designation; 300 initially ordered.

BT-13A - Fitted with Pratt & Whitney engines.

BT-13B - Fitted with Pratt & Whitney engines.

SNV-1 - US Navy designation for the BT-13A series.

SNV-2 - US Navy designation for the BT-13B series.

BT-15 - Fitted with Wright-series R-975 radial engine.

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