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BT-13 “Valiant”
SERIAL NUMBER:  41-21933


  • Wing Span — 417"

  • Length — 28'17"

  • Height — 9'1"

  • Maximum Speed — 182 M.P.H.

  • Service Ceiling — 21,000 Ft.

  • Range — 740 Miles

  • Crew — 2

  • Armament — None

  • Engine — 1 x 450 H.P. Pratt & Whitney, nine cylinder radial engine

When introduced in 1940, the BT-13 "Valiant" was very advanced for its day. The BT-13 was used as a basic flight trainer for pilots that were transitioning from the PT-17 biplane into low wing monoplanes. When the aviation cadets would spin the BT-13 during flight training, the canopy would violently vibrate. The nickname "Vibrator" has stayed with the aircraft ever since.

11,537 BT-13s were built in five different models. The BT-13 was equipped with a 450 h.p. Pratt & Whitney R-985; the BT-13A had minor airframe and equipment changes; the BT-13B maintained the R-985, but was equipped with a 24 volt electrical system. The U.S. Navy flew just over 2,000 "Valiants" as SNV-1's and 2's. Only internal equipment differed between the Ar­my Air Corps and the Navy models.

Few BT-13s survive today. After the ware they were purchased by cropdusters, stripped of their engines and the fuselages either deteriorated or were scrap­ped. Our BT-13, serial number 41-21933, came to us from Reno, Nev., and was restored by the museum's volunteers.

Information based on, “Travis Heritage Center” by Nick Veronico, copyright Travis AFB Historical Society and Travis AFB Heritage Center Foundation.

This book is available from the Travis Heritage Center gift shop.

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