Hobby Master HA1506 USAAF North American LT-6G Texan Tactical Control Aircraft - X-524, "Night Train", 6148 Tactical Control Squadron (Airborne), LTA-542, Korea, 1953 (1:72 Scale)
"Why should we have a navy at all? There are no enemies for it to fight except apparently the Army Air Force."
- General Carl Spaatz, Commander of the US 8th Army Air Force, after WWII
The T-6 was a single-engine advanced trainer aircraft designed by North American Aviation, used to train fighter pilots of the United States Army Air Forces, United States Navy, Royal Air Force and other air forces of the British Commonwealth during World War II. The T-6 is known by a variety of designations depending on the model and operating air force. The USAAC called it the "AT-6", the US Navy, the "SNJ", and the Commonwealth air forces, the Harvard. It remains a popular warbird aircraft.
The T-6 originated from the North American NA-16 prototype (first flown on April 1st, 1935) which, modified as the NA-26, was submitted as an entry for a USAAC "Basic Combat" aircraft competition in March, 1937. The first model went in to production and 180 were supplied to the USAAC as the BC-1 and 400 to the RAF as the Harvard I. The US Navy received 16 modified aircraft, designated the SNJ-1, and a further 61 as the SNJ-2 with a different engine.
A further 92 BC-1A and three BC-2 aircraft were built before the shift to the "advanced trainer" designation, AT-6, which was equivalent to the BC-1A. The differences between the AT-6 and the BC-1 were new squared-off wingtips and a straight-edged rudder, producing the definitive Texan appearance. The AT-6 was designated the Harvard II for RAF/RCAF orders and 1,173 were supplied by purchase or Lend Lease, mostly operating in Canada as part of the Empire Air Training Scheme.
Next came the AT-6A which was based on the NA-77 design and was powered by the Pratt & Whitney R-1340-49 Wasp radial engine. The USAAF received 1,549 and the US Navy 270 (as the SNJ-3). The AT-6B was built for gunnery training and could mount a .30 in machine gun on the forward fuselage. It utilised the R-1340-AN-1 engine which was to become the standard for the remaining T-6 production. Canada's Noorduyn Aviation built a R-1340-AN-1 powered version of the AT-6A which was supplied to the USAAF as the AT-16 (1,500 aircraft) and the RAF/RCAF as the Harvard IIB (2,485 aircraft), some of which also served with the Fleet Air Arm.
The NA-88 design resulted in 2,970 AT-6C Texans and 2,400 as the SNJ-4. The RAF received 726 of the AT-6C as the Harvard IIA. Modifications to the electrical system produced the AT-6D (3,713 produced) and SNJ-5 (1,357 produced). The AT-6D, redesignated the Harvard III, was supplied to the RAF (351 aircraft) and Fleet Air Arm (564 aircraft). Subsequently the NA-121 design gave rise to 25 AT-6F Texans for the USAAF and 931, as the SNJ-6 for the US Navy. The ultimate version, the Harvard 4 (oftern erroneously referred to as the Harvard IV), was produced by Canada Car and Foundry during the 1950s, and supplied to the RCAF, USAF and Bundeswehr.
Pictured here is a 1:72 scale North American LT-6G Texan, X-524 Trainer known as "Night Train", then assigned to the 6148 Tactical Control Squadron (Airborne), LTA-542, deployed to Korea in 1953.
Wingspan: 7 inches
Length: 5 inches
Release Date: June 2008
Historical Account: "Night Train" - In 1950, a new variant of the Texan was produced, the T-6G. Equipped with a new variable pitch
propeller, increased fuel capacity, better canopy visibility, updated cockpit layout with improved instruments and avionics as well as a tail wheel to could be steered. These aircraft were re-manufactured early versions of the T-6. An armed version of this plane was devised for the Korean War and known as the LT-6G (nicknamed the Mosquito because of its call-sign and engine sound).
6148 was one of two airborne Tactical Control Squadrons in Korea assigned to conduct reconnaissance, control air strikes for close support of ground troops and strikes on enemy targets. "Night Train" was one of the LT-6G aircraft specially built for this mission with powerful radios, armed with 6 under-wing racks with triple rocket launchers and two .30 caliber machine gun pods. The two squadrons, referred to as "Mosquito" flew 40,354 sorties and lost 33 men and 42 aircraft out of the 97 built.