1940 American Aviation Harvard Mark II
Our flight worthy Harvard is a 1940 North American Aviation Harvard Mark II. The Harvard was used by the Royal Canadian Air Force as an advanced combat and gunnery/bombing trainer from 1940 until 1960. This aircraft is very special, as it was ordered before the US entry in the second world war. When Canada bought it, neutrality laws prevented it from flying into Canada. Therefore, it was landed in Montana and pulled across the border with a team of horses. Our Harvard is shown in flight in the photo on the left.
The CATPM Harvard served during WW2 at various stations. Postwar it flew at Gimli, Moose Jaw, and Penhold before retiring.
The Harvard was an excellent combat trainer for pilots moving onto fighters. It had a reputation as a challenging aircraft to fly. The challenges were needed so the student could move onto single seat fighters.
The aircraft has a 600 hp engine that burns 56 US gallons of fuel at full power. At full power, the propeller tips go supersonic, and this makes the distinctive Harvard sound.