PT-26 Highland Lakes Squadron
|Power||Ranger 6-440-C5 6 cylinder inline; inverted 200 hp|
|Length||28 feet 8 inches|
The 'PT-19' in our hangar is owned by the CAF. It was built in Canada as a PT-26 serial number 42-65935 by Fleet Aircraft and entered service with the RCAF in 1943. In 1956 it was issued a civilian Airworthiness Certificate. It was last flown in 1989. We transported the plane from CAF Midland where it was on static display to our hangar in December 2005. Our intention is to restore the plane to flying status without the canopy. Thus the reference to it as a PT-19.
In the late 1930s, using his own money, Sherman Fairchild funded the design of an aircraft to satisfy the US Army Air Corps' call for a primary trainer. Among other requirements the plane was to be built largely from non-strategic materials such as wood and fabric although the frame is steel tubing. Fairchild called the plane the M-62.
In 1939 the M-62 won a fly-off against 17 other designs and went into production in 1940 as the AAC's primary trainer with the designation PT-19. In addition to Fairchild, Aeronca, Howard Aircraft, St. Louis Aircraft, and, in Canada, Fleet Aircraft built PT-19s. Power was provided by a 180, later 200 hp., six cylinder, inverted, in-line, air-cooled engine manufactured by Ranger. When Ranger could not build engines in sufficient quantities, Fairchild installed a Continental radial engine. The result became the PT-23. A variant with enclosed cockpits, known as the PT-26, was built for the Canadian Air Force and later used by the USAAF. All versions were called Cornells. In addition to the US and Canada, PT-19/23/26s were used by Great Britain, Norway, Rhodesia, Brazil, Ecuador, and Chile. A total of 7742 were built. After the war, most were sold as surplus.
The PT-26 is a PT-19A variant with enclosed cockpit for the Commonwealth Air Training Scheme, powered by a 200hp L-440-3, 670 built for the Royal Canadian Air Force as the Cornell I.