AT-6 was built originally to compete in the 1937 U. S.
Army Air Corps for a basic combat aircraft. One hundred
eighty aircraft were ordered for the U.S.A.A.C. and the
British Royal Air Force ordered 400. Experience showed
that it was a mediocre combat aircraft but an excellent
trainer so it was reclassified as an advanced trainer.
It was nicknamed the "Texan" and trained most
of the allied fighter pilots of World War II. The AT-6
went on to become arguably the best Air Force training
aircraft of all time.
The AT-6 was the
Army Air Force designation, the same aircraft built for
the Navy was called the SNJ, the British called it the
Harvard. Because of its reputation as a great training
aircraft, many continued to be used in western Air Forces
around the world. Spain and South Africa were the last
countries to operate them and did well into the 1980’s.
Due to the rarity of original Japanese aircraft the AT-6,
sometimes shortened to T-6, is the plane of choice for
moviemakers making World War II films such as "Tora,
Tora, Tora" and "Pearl Harbor". They have
been modified to become anything from "Zero"
fighters to "Kate" torpedo bombers.
learn about the personal history of our very own AT-6
as well as comments from Kermit Weeks, please visit our
beautiful art deco facility and old-fashioned hangars.