Harvard II


The North American Harvard joined the RCAF (Royal Canadian Air Force) in 1940 and for a quarter of a century, was the RCAF's most famous advanced trainer.The "Yellow Peril" was a common sight over the prairies of Canada. The two-place, single engine propellor-driven Aircraft was eventually replaced by the "Tutor"jet trainer.
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The North American Harvard was the RCAF's (Royal Canadian Air Force's) mainstay flying training Aircraft for over two decades. Known as the "Yellow Peril", the Harvard was one of the most reliable training Aircraft ever produced. It bridged the gap between the initial trainers and the more advanced Aircraft the graduate military pilot could fly.
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Harvard number 20449 was actually a North American T-6J, one of the last lot of 270 such Aircraft taken on strength by the RCAF in November, 1951. It was assigned to No. 1 Flying Instructors School which had been reformed at RCAF Station Trenton, Ontario on 01 April, 1951. It then followed the school as it moved to RCAF Station Moose Jaw in on 08 June, 1959 where the school still exists today as Canadian Forces Flying Instructors School which has upgraded its training Aircraft from the Harvard to the current Canadair CT-114 Tutor. The aerobatic display team of the 1950's were the Golden Hawks but the flying instructors so disparaged their former students' efforts on the Sabres that they formed their own team, the Goldilocks, with the training Aircraft displaying what they thought of their students' flying abilities in formation flying.
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This interesting photo shows a restored RCAF North American Harvard, a North American P-51 Mustang, and a second Harvard done up in the Goldenhawks aerobatic display team colours.
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The following video, published on 10 Mar 2013 is by The New Zealand Warbirds Association. The Harvard (T-6) formation aerobatic display team (The Roaring 40s) are shown here during their display at the Mosquito Launch Spectacular airshow held at Ardmore Airfield, Auckland, New Zealand.  The sights and sounds may bring back some now fading memories.