Vultee BT-13 Valiant

The Liberator originated from a United States Army Air Corps (USAAC) request in 1938 for Consolidated to produce the B-17 under license. After company executives including President Reuben Fleet visited the Boeing factory in Seattle, Washington, Consolidated decided instead to submit a more modern design of its own

Vultee BT-13A Valiant

Role Trainer
Manufacturer Vultee Aircraft
First flight March 1939
Introduction June 1940
Primary users United States Army Air Forces /
United States Navy
Number built 9,525

Vultee BT-13 Valiant

Vultee V-1 1933 25 /  / ultee V-11 1935 175-224
Vultee V-12 1939 / V-54, Vultee BT-13 Valiant 1939
V-48, Vultee P-66 Vanguard 1939 / Vultee V-72 Vengeance 1941 1,931
Vultee V-84 1943 2 Prototype / Aichi D3A Val
Consolidated TBY Sea Wolf 1944 180 / Vultee XP-68 Tornado n/a 0

Vultee Consolidated (Convair)

The Vultee BT-13 Valiant was an American World War II-era basic (a category between primary and advanced) trainer aircraft.

Goto Vultee Aircraft

The Vultee BT-13 Valiant was an American World War II-era basic (a category between primary and advanced) trainer aircraft built by Vultee Aircraft for the United States Army Air Corps, and later US Army Air Forces. A subsequent variant of the BT-13 in USAAC/USAAF service was known as the BT-15 Valiant, while an identical version for the US Navy was known as the SNV and was used to train naval aviators for the US Navy and its sister services, the US Marine Corps and US Coast Guard

Design and development

The Vultee BT-13 was the basic trainer flown by most American pilots during World War II. It was the second phase of the three phase training program for pilots. After primary training in PT-13PT-17, or PT-19 trainers, the student pilot moved to the more complex Vultee for continued flight training. The BT-13 had a more powerful engine and was faster and heavier than the primary trainer. It required the student pilot to use two way radio communications with the ground and to operate landing flaps and a two-position Hamilton Standard controllable-pitch propeller. It did not, however, have retractable landing gear nor a hydraulic system. The flaps were operated by a crank-and-cable system. Its pilots nicknamed it the “Vultee Vibrator.”

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Vultee BT-13A Valiant (1939)

C-87 Liberator Express Transport
Passenger transports with accommodation for 20 passengers.
  • C-87A: VIP transports with R-1830-45 instead of -43 engines and sleep accommodations for 16 passengers.
  • C-87B: Projected armed transport variant with nose guns, dorsal turret, and ventral tunnel gun; never produced.
  • C-87C: U.S. Army Air Force/Air Force designation for the RY-3.


  • General characteristics

    • Crew: 2
    • Length: 28 ft 10 in (8.79 m)
    • Wingspan: 42 ft 0 in (12.80 m)
    • Height: 11 ft 6 in (3.51 m)
    • Empty weight: 3,375 lb (1,531 kg)
    • Gross weight: 4,496 lb (2,039 kg)
    • Powerplant: 1 × Pratt & Whitney R-985-AN-1 nine-cylinder air-cooled radial engine, 450 hp (340 kW)
    • Propellers: 2-bladed Hamilton-Standard 2-position
  • Performance

    • Maximum speed: 180 mph (290 km/h, 160 kn)
    • Range: 725 mi (1,167 km, 630 nmi)
    • Service ceiling: 21,650 ft (6,600 m)
    • Time to altitude: 9.2 minutes to 10,000 ft (3,000 m)

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The Vultee Aircraft Corporation became an independent company in 1939 in Los Angeles County, California. It had limited success before merging with the Consolidated Aircraft Corporation in 1943, to form the Consolidated Vultee Aircraft Corporation − or Convair.

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