One of the best advanced training aircraft ever built, the Harvard became a mainstay of the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan. Harvard IIBs were first ordered from Noorduyn in Montreal in January 1940. Noorduyn eventually built 2 800 Harvards for the RAF and RCAF. Canadian Car and Foundry made 550 Mk.4s for Canada and the United States in the 1950s. The Mk.4 had an improved cockpit canopy and greater fuel capacity.
The Harvard must be considered one of the outstanding aircraft of Second World War and the early postwar years. From 1940 to 1955, nearly all American and British Commonwealth pilots received some training on Harvards. Strong yet unforgiving, requiring a delicate touch to keep straight during landing and take-off, it was an ideal training airplane. Canada built more Harvards than any other aircraft, with a total of 3 350 produced. In anticipation of a possible aluminium shortage, a wooden rear-fuselage and set of wings were developed and built, but not produced. Gunnery trainer and target tow versions were also developed but never produced. Skis were produced but never installed because a strengthened undercarriage was required.
This Harvard was manufactured by Canadian Car & Foundry Limited in Fort William, Ontario in 1952. The aircraft was accepted by the RCAF in September of that year and first served at No. 3 Flying Training School at Claresholm, Alberta. After a brief storage period, the Harvard was transferred to No. 2 Flying Training School at Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan in November 1958. It was used here until July 1959, when it was stored at Lincoln Park in Calgary, Alberta. The Harvard was retired and transferred to the Museum in March 1964. It was last flown as part of National Aeronautical Collection Day at Rockcliffe airport in June 1973.
|Wing Span||12.8 m (42 ft 1/2 in)|
|Length||8.8 m (28 ft 11 in)|
|Height||3.5 m (11 ft 8 1/2 in)|
|Weight, Empty||1,812 kg (3,995 lb)|
|Weight, Gross||2,375 kg (5,235 lb)|
|Cruising Speed||225 km/h (140 mph)|
|Max Speed||290 km/h (180 mph)|
|Rate of Climb||396 m (1,300 ft) /min|
|Service Ceiling||6,710 m (22,000 ft)|
|Range||1,145 km (710 mi)|
|Power Plant||one Pratt & Whitney R-1340-AN-1 Wasp, 600 hp, radial engine|