Aeroplane Monthly 1984-10
A.Lumsden, T.Heffernan - Probe Probare (7)
The three photographs show the way Harvards for Britain were crated for shipping across the Atlantic. This Harvard, N7032, flew with Nos 2 and 15 FTS before transferring to the SRAF in April 1941.
These photographs were taken at RAF Grantham in January 1939. The weather was so bad that the station was unable to put a Harvard into the air for Flight's photographer. However, one of the aircraft, N7003, was started up. with the aid of the “hand-operated energy starter" and the noise of the Wasp S3HI nine-cylinder engine at close quarters was described as painful. N7003 was delivered to No 12 FTS at Grantham and later passed to No 14 FTS, when it was written off in a forced landing at East End, Beds in May 1940. The aircraft was painted yellow overall and operated beside Grantham's camouflaged Ansons before the latter were replaced by Oxfords. Deliveries from America were delayed for a period because the American test pilot at Inglewood was ill!
Three Grantham-based No 12 FTS Harvards above winter cloud in February 1939. The aircraft are N7005, N7004 and N7010.
A Harvard IIB, built by Noorduyn of Canada. This licence-built variant corresponded to the USAAF's AT-6A. The aircraft shown here, identity not known, was photographed in May 1943 and is powered by a Pratt & Whitney Hornet engine.
The ATA used Harvards for converting ferry pilots onto the Spitfire and Hurricane and this one, N7135, is seen at White Waltham in mid-1942.
Harvards destined for Britain lined up at the North American plant at Inglewood, California. The aircraft in the foreground, N7020, was retained in the USA by the British Purchasing Commission.
The first Harvard advanced trainer to arrive in Britain was this aircraft, N7000. It arrived at the A&AEE at Martlesham Heath in December 1938 but spun in on February 16 the following year. Note the shape of the early rudder, the wheel fairings and the engine profile different from later models.