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  1. I recently bought the Air Britain Publications book 'The Harvard File' and this set my mind to understanding the variants used by the Fleet Air Arm. To help with this I also bought the Squadron/Signal ‘in action’ book for the T-6 Texan. I then looked at all my other reference material. I set out my findings below (they were in tables but they didn't survive the posting), which include points for discussion. I would also welcome any corrections. Not including the Harvards used by the RAF and other nations under the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan to provide advanced pilot training for new FAA pilots, there were three variants delivered to the FAA. These were the MK IIB, MK IIA and MK III. References to the rear canopy shape can be seen at http://i373.photobucket.com/albums/oo174/rcaf_100/harvardcanopy.jpg Harvard IIB Equivalent to: AT-6A (NA-77 ) / SNJ-3 (NA-78 ) Built by: Noorduyn Aviation Ltd. Canada Engine: 600 hp R-1340-AN-1-Wasp driving a Hamilton-Standard constant speed metal airscrew Equipment: British equipment such as instrumentation, radios and a circular RAF control column grip. 12 volt electrics. Canopy: The original longer fixed rear canopy end with a curved lower edge Other features: No tall antenna mast and delivered with extended exhaust shroud (which routed warm air into the cockpit) See http://www.aviationphotocompany.com/p390954246/h5ca0364e#h3e49e399 . Presumably cockpit heating wasn’t needed in Ceylon and the longer exhaust shroud was removed? Finish: Delivered in overall trainer yellow (most IIBs stayed in Canada). However the WWII photo of KF494 (see photographic references below) suggests the finish was changed to tropical silver/aluminium finish when in Ceylon and the post war photo of KF549 suggests that disruptive uppers were added to some used in the UK (although KF549 may be a red herring - see discussion section below). Post war photos of MKIIBs tend to be in trainer silver/aluminium with yellow bands and post war roundels. Weapons: Provision was made for a single .30 calibre machine gun in the starboard cowling (was it fitted to FAA aircraft?) Structure: Aluminium metal stressed skin and high alloy steel structure with fabric covered control surfaces. The main gear leg covers are often seen to be removed in post war photos Production: From serial number range: FE267– FH166 Total 11 (FE423, FE460, FE615, FE625, FE677, FE679, FE693, FE697, FE713, FE959 and FH155 - all but FE460 to Ceylon). From serial number range: FS661– FT460 Total 3 (FS685, FS696 and FT190 – all to Ceylon) From serial number range: FX198 – FX497 Total 2 (FX445 and FX447 – both to Ceylon) From serial number range: KF100 – KF999 Total 57 (KF493-KF495, KF499-KF528, KF530-KF537, KF542, KF544-KF546, KF548-KF559 – most to UK) Reference photographs: Air Britain: FAA Aircraft 1939-45 KF494 K7Y 729NAS Katukurunda 1945-46 WWII SEAC silver. No yellow bands evident Air Britain: FAA Aircraft Since 1946 KF500 203/ST 1831NAS Stretton 1951 trainer silver with yellow bands KF516 211/AC 1830NAS Abbotsinch 1949-53 trainer silver with yellow bands KF520 251/BR 1833NAS Bramcote 1952 trainer silver with yellow bands KF549 253/BR 1833NAS Bramcote 1952 trainer camou (TLS/yellow, possibly TSS?) KF537 252/BR 1833NAS Bramcote 1952 trainer silver. No yellow bands evident, but could be there Air Britain: The Harvard File KF558 206/CW 780NAS Culdrose 1949 trainer silver. Probably has yellow bands RNAS Culdrose 1947-2007 KF558 206/CW 780NAS Culdrose 1949 trainer silver. Yellow fuselage band discernible Profiles: Air Britain FAA Aircraft Since 1946 KF542 258/BR 1833NAS Bramcote 1949 trainer silver This erroneously has short MK IIA/III style rear canopy end. Scale Aircraft Modelling August 2005 KF494 K7Y 729NAS Katukurunda 1945-46 SEAC silver This profile has RAF style pale blue/roundel blue markings. I think this is erroneous (see discussion below) Discussion: The photo of KF520, KF549 and KF537 lined up at Bramcote (see above), throws up a couple of interesting questions. KF549 is clearly wearing disruptive camouflage but it seems to be of similar tonal value to the temperate sea scheme wearing Seafire in the background. Given that the aircraft belongs to a RNVR squadron, rather than a training one, could KF549 also be wearing TSS? If not, I assume it would have been in the standard green, brown, yellow trainer scheme? KF537 is in silver/aluminium finish, but has it yellow trainer bands? The placing of the aircraft’s serial number/ code number is further forward than usual (i.e. see KF520 lined up in the same photo) which is usually placed so the code number is within the trainer band, the usual position of which can be seen in the photo of EZ316 -/GJ http://www.aviationphotocompany.com/p390954246/h5ca0364e#h5ca0364e and other post war photos of FAA machines. Interestingly, KF537’s predecessor (MK III, FT965) had its serial number and same code number placed in exactly the same further forward position and that definitely has the trainer band (see reference photos for MK IIIs below). Why would two different aircraft of the same unit and with the same code, have exactly the same unusual serial/code placement? According to Air Britain, FT965 would have left the squadron (1950) by the time the photo was taken (1952), so it can’t be a matter of mistaken identity. The wartime photo of KF494 (see above) gives an impression of a slightly darker centre to the roundel than the fuselage (suggesting the aircraft has RAF style SEAC pale blue/roundel blue markings). However I think this is because the shiny aluminium finish on which the roundel is placed is more reflective than the slightly flatter roundel paint. The fin flash certainly appears to be a standard FAA white/blue one. Harvard IIA Equivalent to: AT-6C / SNJ-4 (NA-88) Built by: North American Engine: 600 hp R-1340-AN-1-Wasp driving a Hamilton-Standard constant speed metal airscrew Equipment: British equipment such as instrumentation, radios and a circular RAF control column grip. 12 volt electrics But 5 SNJ-4s (KE305-KE309) were delivered with American equipment and RN serials. They stayed in the USA. Canopy: Shorter rear canopy end with a straight 45 lower edge. For gunnery trainers, this was attached to the rear cockpit canopy at the bottom front corner, designed to hinge so it would rotate back over the rear occupant’s head and act as a windscreen when the rear cockpit canopy was pushed forward. However I understand the FAA used swordfish for gunnery training, so the short rear canopy end was fixed to the fuselage in FAA machines. Other features: Short exhaust shroud. Finish: Delivered in natural metal finish, directly to Ceylon, S Africa and India. Some later shipped to UK in 1946. Weapons: Provision for a single .30 calibre machine gun in the starboard cowling. Provision for an additional .30 calibre machine gun in the starboard wing, underwing bomb racks (were guns fitted to FAA aircraft?) Structure: Initially aluminium metal stressed skin and high alloy steel structure with fabric covered control surfaces but about halfway through the production run, this variant was redesigned to reduce the use of aluminium alloy and high alloy steel, the short supply of which was feared and therefore its use to be prioritised for combat types. The wings, centre section, fin, rudder, elevators, ailerons, flaps etc. were made of spot welded low alloy steel structures. Side panels of the forward fuselage and the entire rear fuselage and tailplane were covered with three-ply mahogany plywood rear fuselage skinning, as well as wooden bulkheads, floor portions, control columns, stringers and other components, with fabric control surfaces. Production: From serial number range: EX100 – EX846 Total 9 (EX641/EX702 to Ceylon, EX643/EX647/EX683/EX687 to S Africa, EX585, EX609 and EX620 to India). Some (EX620/ EX643/EX647/EX683/EX687 later shipped to UK in 1946 North American SNJ-4 under Acquisition No. BAC/n-1990 for the Royal Navy Serial Numbers: KE305 – KE309 Total 5 (all stayed in the USA) Reference photographs: None Profiles: None Discussion: It is not known whether the FAA airframes were early (all metal) or late (part wooden) examples, since there are no photos of them that I know of. Photos of SNJ-4s show the shorter rear canopy end with a straight 45 lower edge. Harvard III Equivalent to: AT-6D / SNJ-5 (NA-88) Built by: North American Engine: 600 hp R-1340-AN-1-Wasp driving a Hamilton-Standard constant speed metal airscrew Equipment: The majority had British equipment such as instrumentation, radios and a circular RAF control column grip. But 20 AT-6Ds were delivered with American equipment and RN serials. 24 volt electrics. Canopy: Shorter rear canopy end with a straight 45 lower edge. Other features: Short exhaust shroud. Finish: Delivered in silver/natural metal finish. Some re-finished in green/brown/yellow camouflage when in the UK (see photos of EZ400 and EZ447), although some appear to have retained their silver finish throughout their career (see photo of EZ406) – unless painted yellow overall. Post war photos of MKIIIs tend to be in trainer silver/aluminium with yellow bands and post war roundels. The main gear leg covers are often removed in post war photos Weapons: Provision for a single .30 calibre machine gun in the starboard cowling. Provision for an additional .30 calibre machine gun in the starboard wing, underwing bomb racks (were guns fitted to FAA aircraft?) Structure: Early examples had the wooden components of the late production AT-6Cs, but production soon reverted to the metal stressed skin and high alloy steel structure with fabric covered control surfaces of AT-6A/Bs and early production AT-6Cs. Production: From serial number range: EX847 – EZ458 Total 129 (most to UK) Serial Numbers: FT955-FT974 Total 20 (all to the UK) Reference photographs: Air Britain: FAA Aircraft Since 1946 EZ348 911/HF Stn Flt Hal Far 1947-52 WWII trainer silver Air Britain: The Harvard File FT965 252/BR 1833NAS Bramcote 1949 trainer silver EZ316 -/GJ Stn Flt Gosport 1953 trainer silver EZ400 900/CW Stn Flt Culdrose 1947-48 WWII trainer camou EZ406 Y2Z 759NAS Yeovilton 1947 WWII trainer silver or yellow & tall mast EZ447 Y2M 700NAS Yeovilton 1946 WWII trainer camou & tall mast Military Aviation in Malta 1915-1993 – John Hamlin EZ436 913/HF Stn Flt Hal Far 1947-52 silver Culdrose 1947-2007 EZ400 900/CW 790NAS Culdrose 1947 trainer camou - tonal difference between colours is clear so TLS/yellow. No tall mast Profiles: Air Britain: The Harvard File FT965 252/BR 1833NAS Bramcote 1949 trainer silver Erroneously has long MK IIB canopy end Military Aircraft Markings and Profiles – Barry Wheeler EZ316 203/JA “Hatters Castle” 1831NAS Stretton 1947 WII trainer camou Erroneously called a MK IIB of 1832NAS Air Britain: Squadrons of the Fleet Air Arm FT965 252/BR 1833NAS Bramcote 1949 trainer silver Erroneously called a MK IIB Discussion: With regard to the 20 AT-6Ds delivered with American equipment, the batch of 20 airframes FT955-FT974, which were all delivered to the UK, would seem to be the likely candidates. However at least some from serial number range: EX847 – EZ458 (see photos of EZ406, EZ400 and EZ447), had the tall aerial mast as per American aircraft, which implies the fitting of American radios. So perhaps the 20 AT-6Ds came from the earlier batch? The photo of EZ406 and an unidentified airframe in front of it on HMS Vengeance travelling to Malta in 1947, shows an allover light scheme. Probably silver but as previously with 759NAS at Yeovilton, what chance they were re-sprayed all over yellow? Anyone seen a reference photo for EZ316 (203/JA “Hatters Castle”)? NB - Edited to make more readable in absence of table format
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