North American Harvard Mk.2 Flight

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Aircraft Type History

Arguably one of the most historic trainers of all time, over 20,000 Harvards (all variations) were produced. The first Harvards flew in 1935, with their first deliveries starting in 1939. The last Harvard was retired from active military service in the mid 1990’s – an impressive career of over 50 years! The Harvard was primarily flown by the United States, Canada, and British Commonwealth countries, with its primary mission as an
advanced WWII training aircraft that helped transition pilots from low power trainers into more powerful aircraft like Spitfires and Mustangs.

To keep up with production requirements, the Harvard was built under license by a variety of manufacturers during the time. The first Canadian-made ones rolled off the line in 1941, being built under license for North America by Noorduyn Aviation of Montreal, Quebec. Canadian-built Harvards were supplied to both the Royal Canadian Air Force and Royal Air Force, and flown as a part of the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan (BCATP) across Canada.

After the war, Harvards did remain in active service for some time, although surplus aircraft were sold off to various civilian operators and other countries.

Our Harvard’s History

Our Harvard is a Mark IIB version (designation indicating build company) that was constructed by Noorduyn in Montreal in 1942 and taken on strength by the Royal Canadian Air Force on March 28, 1942. It was assigned as an advanced trainer to the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan and stationed at No. 14 Service Flying Training School at RCAF Station Aylmer (the current site of the Ontario Police College) in 1944. After the war, our Harvard was converted to a Mark IIA armament trainer and assigned to No. 401 Auxiliary Squadron in St. Hubert, Quebec. It was struck off strength on June 29, 1960 and later sold into private ownership, acquiring civil registration CF-MTW. Our Harvard had six different owners prior to becoming a member of the Waterloo Warbirds fleet. Our Harvard’s most recent owner, prior to it joining the team, was Blain Fowler of Alberta, who owned this aircraft for a remarkable 39 years, from 1980 to 2019! Interestingly, when Mr. Fowler purchased the aircraft out of Ontario in 1980, the pilot he arranged to take it for a test flight was none other than George Stewart, the father of the Harvard’s new and current owner, Peter Stewart! Our Harvard has a rich history with deep connections to our province and we hope to have her flying in our collection for many years to come!

Your Flight Experience Day

Your Day  Safety Notables  Briefing Video

The Technical Stuff

General Characteristics

  • Crew: one/two
  • Length: 8.84 m (29 ft)
  • Wingspan: 12.81 m (42 ft)
  • Height: 3.57 m (12 ft 8 in)
  • Empty weight: 1,886 kg (4,158 lbs)
  • Max. takeoff weight: 2,548 kg (5,617 lb)
  • Powerplant: 1 × Pratt & Whitney R-1340-AN-1 Wasp radial engine, 600 hp (450 kW)

Performance

  • Maximum speed: 335km/h (208mph)
  • Service ceiling: 11,000 m (36,100 ft)
  • Cruise speed: 233 km/h (145 mph)
  • Range: 1,175 km 730 miles()
  • Service ceiling: 7,400 m (24,200 ft)
  • Rate of climb: 6.1 m/s (1200ft/min)
  • Wing loading: 108 kg/m² 22.2 lb/ft²()
  • Power/mass: 0.11 hp/lb (kW/kg)