BT-13A      Japanese Aichi D3A "Val"

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Manufacturer: Vultee
Designation: BT-13
Version: A
Nickname: Valiant
Type: Trainer (Basic)
Specifications (below is for BT-13A)
Length: 28' 10"
Height: 9' 1"
Wingspan: 42' 2"
Wingarea: 238.00 Sq Ft
Empty Weight: 3375.00 lbs
Gross Weight: 4496.00 lbs
Payload: one 550lb bomb; two 130lb bombs
Propulsion (below is for BT-13A)
No. of Engines: 1
Powerplant: Pratt & Whitney R-985-25
Horsepower (each): 450
Performance (below is for BT-13A)
Range: 516 miles
Cruise Speed: 140.00 mph
Max Speed: 166.00 Mph
Ceiling: 16500.0 Ft


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. 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.


Equipped with extended wingtips, simulated dive brakes, landing gear fairings
and a reshaped vertical stabilizer, the museum’s BT-13A, serial number 41-1306
was modified to depict an Imperial Japanese Navy Type 99 Aichi D-3A1 "Val"
dive-bomber for the 1970 Academy Award winning film “Tora, Tora, Tora.” “Val’s” carry the distinction of dropping the first bomb on Pearl Harbor during the December 7, 1941 surprise attack and of having sunk more Allied ships than any other Axis aircraft during the Second World War. This aircraft is on loan from the NMUSAF.


On June 19, 2010, the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force, Research
Division/MUA provided the following history of 41-1306:

Vultee Construction Number 74-1414, Civil Registration N54865.

Manufactured by Vultee Aviation and received by the USAAF on 20 May 1941.

May 1941, AAF Basic Pilot School (later 2128th AAF Base Unit, AAF Flying
Training Command), Cochran AAF, Macon GA 
Jan 1942, Repaired after a ground nose-over accident at Cochran Field. Sep 1944, 2131st AAF Base Unit (EPS, AAFFTC), Gunter AAF AL Nov 1944, Dropped from inventory as surplus at McKellar Field TN