North American SNJ-5 Texan “290“
This aircraft is currently in our Rides Program – visit the rides page for more information and book your ride today!
Brief general history of the T-6 SNJ/Texan:
The North American T-6/SNJ Texan is a two-place advanced trainer. The RAF used the designation of Harvard for this aircraft.
Designed as a transition trainer between basic trainers and first-line tactical aircraft, the T-6/SNJ trained several hundred thousand pilots in 34 different countries over a period of 25 years.
North American Aviation built 15,495 planes between 1938 and 1955. Considered a “pilot’s airplane”, it was designed to give the best possible training in all types of tactics, from ground strafing to bombardment and aerial dog fighting. It contained such versatile equipment as bomb racks, blind flying instrumentation, gun and standard cameras, fixed and flexible guns, and just about every other device that military pilots had to operate. The AT-6G/SNJ-5 also involved major advancements including a full-time hydraulic system and a steerable tail wheel and persisted into the 1950s as the USAF advanced trainer.
Korean War AT-6s are most famous for their service as forward air controllers, designating targets for and coordinating UN air strikes throughout the war. Originally, they equipped the US 6147th Tactical Control Squadron, which operated with the call-sign “Mosquito.” The “Mosquito” nickname became associated with both the 6147th TCS and with their T-6 aircraft.
Since the Second World War, the T-6 continued frontline service with many foreign air forces, most recently in the Pakistan-India war of 1971 and as a basic trainer with the South African Air Force until 1995.
In civilian service the T-6 has been a regular participant at air shows, and was used in many movies. Famously, in Tora! Tora! Tora! and The Final Countdown, converted single-seat T-6s painted in Japanese markings represent Mitsubishi Zeroes, whereas in A Bridge too Far it represented the razorback Republic P-47 Thunderbolt. The New Zealand Warbirds “Roaring 40s” aerobatic team uses ex-Royal New Zealand Air Force Harvards and the Reno National Air Races has a class specifically for the T-6 during their National Air Races each year.
Length: 29′ 5″ 8.9 m
Wingspan: 42′ 0″ 12.8 m
Height: 11′ 8.5″ 3.5 m
Wing area: 254.0 sq ft 23.5 sq m
Empty weight: 4,158 lb 1,885 kg
Loaded weight: 5,300 lb 2,403 kg
Powerplant: 1 × Pratt & Whitney R-1340-AN-1 Wasp radial engine, 600 hp (450 kW)
Maximum speed: 205 mph (330 km/h 178 kt)
Stall speed: 70 mph (61kn, 112 kph)
Range: 750 miles (1,207 km )
Service ceiling: 21,500 ft (6,552 m)
Rate of climb: 1,200 ft/min (365 m/min)
Wing loading: 22.2 lb/ft² (108 kg/m²)
Power/mass: 0.11 hp/lb (kW/kg)
Provision for up to 3× 0.30 in (7.62 mm) machine guns
The Commemorative Air Force’s SNJ-5 Texan “290” was originally ordered by the Army Air Corps as 42-84895, but it was diverted to the U. S. Navy as BuNo 84865 construction number is 88-16676) in 1943.
In 1957, following service with the USN, SNJ-5 84865 was transferred to the Japan Maritime Self Defense Force (JMSDF) as 6186.
Dennis G. Buehn and Warbirds West of Compton, California recovered it from Japan in October 1977 and it was registered N89014.
Brandon O’Brien purchased this SNJ-5 in 1979 and it was ultimately acquired by the CAF in 1984.
Our SNJ-5 is painted as “SB290” in the markings of a training plane as used by BTU-3 at Sanfley Field, Florida in 1954-55
You are likely to see 290 along with her sister ship SNJ-4 BlueBird in demonstration flights at local air shows or while on a Warbird Ride outing in the skies over beautiful Ventura County.
Along with the other two-seater warbirds operated by SoCal-CAF, SNJ-5 290 is still serving by keeping our aviation heritage alive through demonstration flights and the rides program.
Be sure to check our Rides program and sign up for an unforgettable flight in 290.