Restoration Of North American NA-64 3434

Ending up on Ernie Simmons farm NA-64 3434 was sold at auction. She was restored back to her former glory and was seen at air shows around the east coast. Sadly after suffering engine problems she was forced to make an off airport landing damaging her airframe. At this time the aircraft was put into storage. NA-64 3434 now resides at the Legend Of Aces shop awaiting restoration.

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History of the North American NA-64 Yale

With hostilities on the horizon, France went to North American for a version of the BT-9 called the NA-57. These proved very popular, so, just before the war, they ordered a further 230 updated machines. This incarnation was called the NA-64, later to be called the Yale 1. It was a hodge-podge machine, featuring the Harvard canopy, the fixed landing gear and the Wright R-975-E3 Whirlwind engine. It did, however, have the semi-monocoque rear fuselage rather than the earlier fabric structure as the BT-9.

The Yale is a fixed undercarriage, lower powered, lighter weight version of the well-known Harvard. Both the Yale and Harvard evolved from the North American Aviation NA-16, which was first flown in 1935. It was originally designed to fill the middle role in the American's three tier training program, in which pilots advanced through primary, basic, and advanced phases.

Early in 1939, 230 Yale's were ordered by the Government of France and assembly began in North American's California facility. Just over one hundred had been delivered when France fell to Germany in 1940. One hundred and eleven of these had just been delivered when France fell. The Germans were happy to press them into service in the Luftwaffe, many still in their packing crates, as they too had a shortage of trainers. The Luftwaffe made use of these Yale's until lack of spare parts forced their grounding. The remainder of the order, with their French stenciling and plates and instruments calibrated in metric measurements, was shipped to Canada whose Air Force was moving quickly to build its training program under the Canadian Air Training Plan.

Initially the Yale's served as advanced trainers in the Canadian Air Training Plan’s two phase flying training system. When sufficient numbers of the higher performance Harvard's became available the Yale's were relegated to the role of wireless operator training. This conversion involved gutting the rear cockpit and fitting it with radio equipment of the type used on operational fighters and bombers. In total, 119 Yale's served with the RCAF, the last one being retired in 1946.

NA-64 "Yale" Specifications
Crew...................
Wingspan...........
Length................
Height.................
Max Gross Wt....
Empty Wt............
2
42 ft 0 in
28 ft 0 in
13 ft 7 in
4,470 lb
3,3163 lb
Powerplant.........
Horsepower.......
Max Speed.........
Range.................
Service Ceiling..
Rate Of Climb.....
1 × Wright R-975
450 hp
170 mph
877 miles
19,750 ft
2,381 ft/min

(Historical Information from Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia. Wikimedia Foundation, Inc. 22 July 2004)