4 pictures of aircraft in black and white

Here are several photos of older aircraft I'd like help in naming. Year, Model, & Manufacturer. Thanks so much. Ron

  • $\begingroup$ Short note; the lower left aircraft is a twin. $\endgroup$ – KeithS Sep 30 '15 at 21:06
  • $\begingroup$ I did note that after I put up the photo but still would like help ID'ing all these. $\endgroup$ – Ron at NuRoad Collectibles Sep 30 '15 at 21:07
  • $\begingroup$ Any info on when/where the photos were taken? Just curious. $\endgroup$ – fooot Sep 30 '15 at 21:26
  • $\begingroup$ No idea, though they were purchased in N.Texas. $\endgroup$ – Ron at NuRoad Collectibles Sep 30 '15 at 22:34

The upper left one looks like a Fairchild PT-19-family monoplane trainer. Production on these started in 1939 and served through the end of the war as a basic trainer. Yours might just be the PT-19B variant, which has a hood over the front cockpit and was used for instrument training: PT-19

The upper right one looks like a Vultee BT-13 or BT-15 "Valiant" basic trainer, which were used as Air Force and Navy basic trainers from 1940 to 1944: BT-13

The lower left is actually a twin-engine plane, not a single, looks like a variant of the Beechcraft Model 18, or "Twin Beech". These were built beginning around 1937 and continued well into the Vietnam years. Military designations include the C-45 Expeditor, AT-7 Navigator, and AT-11 Kansan, but your specific example appears to be civilian: Beech Model 18

The lower right is a North American T-6 or AT-6 Texan. Production on these began in 1933 and they were only retired from all air forces in 1996 (though the last operator, South Africa, only kept them as basic trainers because a military embargo related to its Apartheid policy prevented them buying anything newer): T-6

As far as exact build dates of these aircraft, you might be able to look up the tail numbers of each airplane, but these craft were so common and so varied during their production that exactly when a specific airframe was built is difficult to determine by looking at it. All of these aircraft, in addition, seem to have been "civilianized" after service with the USAAC/USAAF, so their full history may be very hard to trace without their logbooks.

  • $\begingroup$ @fooot I concur and have edited, though I think it's actually the PT-19; same airframe, but inline instead of radial engine. $\endgroup$ – KeithS Sep 30 '15 at 21:51
  • $\begingroup$ You guys are terrific..Thanks! $\endgroup$ – Ron at NuRoad Collectibles Sep 30 '15 at 22:33
  • $\begingroup$ Although these designations are probably correct, they might also be variants, like an SNJ instead of a T-6 $\endgroup$ – rbp Oct 1 '15 at 14:30
  • $\begingroup$ @RonatNuRoadCollectibles Please consider marking the question you find most helpful as answered :) aviation.stackexchange.com/tour $\endgroup$ – ymb1 Sep 23 '16 at 20:29

From left to right, top to bottom, and from memory I'm guessing a Fairchild PT-19, a BT-13, a Beech D18, and a North American AT-6. The BT-13 had a 450 horse P&W. which they'd pull off that airplane and put on Stearman to make a duster/spray plane out of. All of these airplanes were really cheap after WW2.

As I remember, AT-6s sold after the war for as little as 500 USD, but then when the Korea War came along, the government wanted them back and were paying up to 30,000 for them.

  • $\begingroup$ I think the upper left is the older PT-19 variant; the PT-23s had a radial engine, while this one has an inline. $\endgroup$ – KeithS Sep 30 '15 at 21:52
  • $\begingroup$ @KeithS You're right, and I changed the answer. I seem to remember some PT-19s having fully enclosed cockpits. I think the inline engine shown is a Ranger engine, which were also in the Grumman Widgeon. $\endgroup$ – Terry Sep 30 '15 at 22:22
  • $\begingroup$ @Terry - The PT-26 was the variant that had the inline engine and enclosed cockpits. The engine cowling looks very similar between the two, I'm not sure if the 19 and 26 used the same engine. $\endgroup$ – KeithS Sep 30 '15 at 23:18

The lower left picture shows a Beech 18 Twin Beech, built in the 1930's. On the tail the markings N and 15 are visible. Since all other aircraft show registrations starting with NC and they all feature the same control tower (apart from the top left picture) I assume all photo's are from the same year. It is likely the registration of the Beech 18 starts with NC too. The only Beech 18 Twin Beech in this production list with a NC registration is the first ever built, with registration NC15810.

The lower right picture shows a North American Texan Yale, registration NC61032. It is listed in this production list.


The first is a Fairchild PT-19 trainer (~1940). The second looks like a Vultee BT-13 or BT-15 (~1940). The third looks like an AT-11 (~1937), and the forth is an early T-6 or AT-6A (~1937).


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