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Vultee BT-13 Valiant - United States, 1939

Detailing the development and operational history of the Vultee BT-13 Valiant Basic Trainer Aircraft.

 Entry last updated on 8/26/2017; Authored by Staff Writer; Content ¬©

  Vultee BT-13 Valiant  
Picture of Vultee BT-13 Valiant

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.

Picture of the Vultee BT-13 Valiant
Picture of the Vultee BT-13 Valiant

Vultee BT-13A Valiant Specifications

Service Year: 1939
Type: Basic Trainer Aircraft
National Origin: United States
Manufacturer(s): Vultee Aircraft - USA
Total Production: 11,537

Structural (Crew, Dimensions, Weights)

Operating Crew (Typical): 2
Overall Length: 28.74 feet (8.76 meters)
Overall Width: 42.19 feet (12.86 meters)
Overall Height: 12.30 feet (3.75 meters)

Weight (MTOW): 4,365 lb (1,980 kg)

Power / Performance (Engine Type, Top Speed)

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

Maximum Speed: 159 knots (183 mph; 295 kph)
Maximum Range: 446 nautical miles (513 miles; 826 km)
Service Ceiling: 16,503 feet (5,030 meters; 3.13 miles)

Armament / Mission Payload


Global Operators (Customers, Users)

Australia; Chile; China; Egypt; France; Honduras; Peru; Soviet Union; United States

Model Variants

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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