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Vultee V-79 Valiant (BT-13B)

This basic trainer was built by Vultee in Downey, California for the US Army Air Force as the BT-13 and the US Navy as the SNV-1.  

Construction is all metal with the exception of the fabric covered control surfaces.  

Known as Vultee Aircraft Company from 1932 through 1947, it disappeared into Consolidated-Vultee, later Convair and finally General Dynamics.  

The BT-13 was affectionately nicknamed the “Vultee Vibrator.”  

The BT-13 was used here at Chino Airport, then known as CalAero Field, during WWII cadet training.  Students were taught instrument, formation, cross-country, night, radio and aerobatic flight.  

The BT out numbered all other basic trainers produced in the US during WWII.

Service History

  • Delivered: Dec 23, 1943
  • AAF Basic Pilot School, Merced AAF, CA
  • June 25, 1945 - Chico AAF, CA
  • Sept 9, 1945 - Lemoore AAF, CA
  • Declared surplus Nov 2, 1945
MFG: Vultee Aircraft Inc.

First Produced: 1940

Powerplant: P/W R-985-AN-1

Horsepower: 450

Prop: Hamilton Standard

Service Ceiling: 16,500 ft.

Cruise: 140 mph

Top Speed: 166 mph

Range: 725 miles

Empty Weight: 3,375 lbs

Gross Weight: 4,496 lbs

Wing Span: 42’2”

Wing Area: 239 sq. ft.

Length: 28’8”

Height: 9’1”

Armament: none

Number Built: 11,538 total

1,350 SNV-1 Models

Yanks purchased this BT-13 in 1985 and restored it to original condition.