BT-13 Valiant

Manufacturer: Vultee
Designation: BT-13
Version: A
Nickname: Valiant
Type: Trainer (Basic)
Length: 28' 10" 8.79 M
Height: 11' 6" 2.77 M
Wingspan: 42' 12.85 M
Wingarea: 238.00 Sq Ft 22.11 Sq M
Empty Weight: 3375.00 lbs 1530.00 Kg
Gross Weight: 4496.00 lbs 2039.00 Kg
No. of Engines: 1
Powerplant: Pratt & Whitney R-985-25
Horsepower (each): 450
Range: 516 miles 830.00 Km
Cruise Speed: 140.00 mph 225.00 Km/H 121.62 Kt
Max Speed: 180.00 Mph 267.00 Km/H 144.32 Kt
Ceiling: 21,650.0 Ft 5029.00 M


During the Second World War, the United States Army Air Forces used a
three-phase training program for pilots, Primary, Basic and Advanced. With each
phase, aircraft complexity and the difficulty of the tasks to be mastered
increased. At the end of Primary, cadets, now capable of performing simple
flight requirements left behind the open-cockpit, fabric and wood PT-13, PT-17
& PT-19 training aircraft and moved up to the more complex challenges of

The BT-13A Valiant evolved in response to a USAAF need for a second phase
training aircraft. The Vultee Aircraft Inc. design, combined a closed-cockpit,
low-wing, metal monoplane with fabric control surfaces and a powerful 450-hp
Pratt & Whitney R-985 Wasp-junior radial engine with a variable-pitch
propeller and flaps. Due to its propensity to shake, aviation cadets nicknamed
the BT-13A the “Vibrator.” The Valiant proved to be an excellent choice to
introduce fledgling pilots to basic flight maneuvers. During the war, over
11,500 BT-13As and its variants were produced.

The museum's BT-13A, s/n 41-21487, was manufactured by Vultee Aircraft Inc.,
Downey, CA, and received by the USAAF on June 8, 1941. It was assigned to the
Basic Pilot School at Cochran AAF, Macon GA. Wrecked on May 3, 1943 the aircraft
was disposed as surplus on September 25, 1943 with 1553 airframe hours. The
museum received the aircraft in October 1980. This aircraft is on loan from the