N651SH is actually a modified Ejército del Aire or Spanish Air Force C.6 or Cazabombardero 6. That means "fighter bomber 6" in English. The training versions of the T-6 were E.16 or Enseñanza 16. That means “training 16” in English. N651SH was C.6-168 after modification for Spain. In her final active duty assignment she was with 421 Escuadrón and marked as 421-59.
For full details on the T-6 Texan in Spanish service refer to "Aeroplano, No 24, 2006" in the references section.
N651SH :1949 North American T-6D Texan "Dulcinea"
Serial No: 49-3305 Mission: U.S. Army and Air Force Advanced Flight Training and Spanish Fighter Bomber Engine: Pratt and Whitney R-1340-AN-1, 600 HP Propeller: Hamilton Standard 12D40, constant speed
Our T-6D Texan, “Dulcinea”,was originally built during World War II as an advanced trainer for the Army Air Force pilots who became the famous fighter and bomber pilots that won the war. During the early days of the Cold War, it was recognized that a fresh generation of pilots would have to be trained for the newly independent U.S. Air Force. The Air Force contracted with North American Aviation, who originally built the aircraft, to reopen a production line and completely rebuild the T-6 Texan with new systems and radios which included our airplane in 1949. After completing duty at Goodfellow AFB during and after the Korean War, the Air Force released our T-6 aircraft for export to allies and other friendly nations. Our T-6 was once again overhauled and exported to Spain in 1962.
In the early 1980s as Spain retired the T-6 aircraft type from active service a small number of the aircraft in best condition were held in reserve for museums. Our T-6 was one of the last to be released and is in authentic markings of the last Spanish squadron in which she served. The cockpit still has the bomb, rocket, and machine gun arming switches from her combat role. Modern radios, navigation, and transponder equipment have been added for flight safety in today’s airspace. Why the name “Dulcinea?” Look in FAQ!
Wash and WACs? (actually they are Navy WAVES)
(c.1943) WAVES washing a SNJ training plane at NAS Jacksonville, Fla.
History of the T-6 "Texan"
The North American T-6 Texan was known as "the pilot maker" because of its important role in preparing pilots for combat. Derived from the 1935 North American NA-16 prototype, a cantilever low-wing monoplane, the Texan filled the need for a basic combat trainer during WW II and beyond. The original order of 94 AT-6 Texans differed little from subsequent versions such as the AT-6A (1,847) which revised the fuel tanks or the AT-6D (4,388) and AT-6F (956) that strengthened as well as lightened the frame with the use of light alloys. In all, more than 17,000 airframes were designed to the Texan standards.
North American's rapid production of the T-6 Texan coincided with the wartime expansion of the United States air war commitment. As of 1940, the required flights hours for combat pilots earning their wings had been cut to just 200 during a shortened training period of seven months. Of those hours, 75 were logged in the AT-6.
U.S. Navy pilots flew the airplane extensively, under the SNJ designation, the most common of these being the SNJ-4, SNJ-5 and SNJ-6.
British interest in the Texan design was piqued as early as 1938 when it ordered 200 under the designation Harvard Mk I or "Harvard As Is" for service in Southern Rhodesia training under the Commonwealth Air Training Program. As the Harvard Mk I (5,000+) design was modeled after the early BC-1 design, the subsequent Harvard Mk II utilized the improvements of the AT-6 models. During 1944, the AT-6D design was adopted by the RAF and named the Harvard MK III. This version was used to train pilots in instrument training in the inclement British weather and for senior officers to log required airtime. Much to the chagrin of the Air Force High Command, the Harvard "hack" was often used for non-military activities like joy-riding and unofficial jaunts across the English countryside.
During 1946, the Canadian Car and Foundry company developed the Harvard Mk IV trainer to the specifications of the T-6G and produced 285 T-6Js under the same design for the USAF Mutual Aid Program. Designated the T-6G, the Texan saw major improvements in increased fuel capacity, an improved cockpit layout, as well as a steerable tailwheel. U.S. Air Force and U.S. Navy forces in the Korean War modified the Texan under the LT-6G designation and employed it in combat for forward air control of propeller and jet powered strike aircraft.Spain utilized the armed T-6 in combat during the Sahara conflict for patrol and counter-insurgency operations.France made extensive combat use of armed T-6 aircraft during the Algerian conflict.
Although the U.S. retired the T-6 from active duty by the end of the 1950's, several nations, including Spain, South Africa, Brazil, China, and Venezuela, utilized "the pilot maker" as their basic trainer well into the 1980's. Today, over 600 T-6 Texans remain in airworthy condition. Most of the former "hacks" are based in North America and are a reminder of the importance of simplicity in training and function. [History by James A. Jensen]
Nicknames:Pilot Maker; Old Growler (USA); Window Breaker (UK); Mosquito (Korean war USAF LT-6G Forward Air Control aircraft); J-Bird (SNJ)
Specifications (SNJ-5): Engine: One 600-hp Pratt & Whitney R-1340-AN-1 radial piston engine Weight: Empty 4,158 lbs., Max Takeoff 5,300 lbs. Wing Span: 42ft. 0.25in. Length: 29ft. 6in. Height: 11ft. 9in. Performance: Maximum Speed: 205 mph Ceiling: 21,500 ft. Range: 750 miles
Dulcinea's T6 engine "up close!"
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