SNJ

Discussion in 'Aviation' started by renrich, Nov 15, 2007.

  1. renrich

    renrich Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2007
    Messages:
    4,542
    Likes Received:
    5
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Occupation:
    real estate
    Location:
    Montrose, Colorado
    Was reading an article the other day and the author mentioned that the SNJ(AT6) was difficult to fly well and that WW2 fighters were not a real challenge to fly once one mastered the SNJ. That doesn't fit my idea of how an advanced trainer would be designed. Anyone with experience in an SNJ here that can confirm that statement?
     
  2. ccheese

    ccheese Member In Perpetuity
    Staff Member Moderator

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2007
    Messages:
    12,669
    Likes Received:
    96
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Occupation:
    R E T I R E D !!
    Location:
    Virginia Beach, Va.
    I have flown in the SNJ countless times, at NAS Jax, NAS Cecil Field and NAS
    NorVa. I've never heard a pilot say anything about the aircraft being hard
    to fly, or one you had to fly "all the time", or anything like that. Perhaps
    mkloby, FlyboyJ or Evangilder has something to add.... I know Eric has
    flown in them recently.

    Charles
     
  3. evangilder

    evangilder "Shooter"
    Staff Member Administrator

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2004
    Messages:
    19,419
    Likes Received:
    137
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Occupation:
    Network Engineer/Photographer
    Location:
    Moorpark, CA
    Home Page:
    I have about an hour and a half of time in the SNJ. It didn't seem any harder to fly than any other tail dragger I have flown or flown in. I can't say that I have heard anyone complain that it was hard to fly. I found it quite pleasant, actually.
     
  4. mad_max

    mad_max Member

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2006
    Messages:
    113
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    18
    My father was a Pilot Instructor (Advanced Fighter Training) in the Navy just before
    the Korean War. I never heard him say the SNJ was dangerous or difficult to fly. He
    did say it would separate the good pilots from the average pilots though. He's flying
    in the clear blue skies now, so I can't ask him why.

    He did say the Stearman could bite you though.
     
  5. evangilder

    evangilder "Shooter"
    Staff Member Administrator

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2004
    Messages:
    19,419
    Likes Received:
    137
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Occupation:
    Network Engineer/Photographer
    Location:
    Moorpark, CA
    Home Page:
    Definitely the Stearman will not only bite you, but kill you. The fly nicely but if you aren't lined up right for landing, go around again.
     
  6. HoHun

    HoHun Active Member

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2006
    Messages:
    1,766
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Hi Renrich,

    >Was reading an article the other day and the author mentioned that the SNJ(AT6) was difficult to fly well and that WW2 fighters were not a real challenge to fly once one mastered the SNJ. That doesn't fit my idea of how an advanced trainer would be designed.

    I have read that statement a couple of times in different places. My impression is that the SNJ did display all of the characteristics one might find in a WW2 fighter, thus providing adequate preparation. Some WW2 fighters might have "skipped" one or more of the characterstics of the SNJ, which I suspect is the origin of the statement: "If you can fly the T-6, you can fly everything".

    (Thinking about it, the statement might have served an important role in wartime student indoctrination as a confidence builder because after their training on the T-6, they would in fact be ordered to go and fly "everything".)

    Regards,

    Henning (HoHun)
     
  7. mkloby

    mkloby Active Member

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2006
    Messages:
    3,561
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    36
    Occupation:
    USMC - Capt - 7532
    Location:
    Jacksonville, NC
    Renrich - even if it was difficult to fly, why would that surprise you? The most difficult helicopter to fly in the Navy/Marine Corps inventory, by all accounts, is the helo trainer, the TH-57.
     
  8. renrich

    renrich Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2007
    Messages:
    4,542
    Likes Received:
    5
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Occupation:
    real estate
    Location:
    Montrose, Colorado
    I see your point as an advanced trainer should prepare a pilot to transition directly into combat AC. However one would think that even an advanced trainer in WW2 would not be challenging to land as perhaps a P40 or Corsair.
     
  9. HoHun

    HoHun Active Member

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2006
    Messages:
    1,766
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Hi Renrich,

    >I see your point as an advanced trainer should prepare a pilot to transition directly into combat AC. However one would think that even an advanced trainer in WW2 would not be challenging to land as perhaps a P40 or Corsair.

    I'm not a pilot, so I can't know :) However, here is a statement by CAF warbird pilot John Deakin on the SNJ:

    Pelican's Perch #61: Test Pilot School

    Almost at the end of the article:

    "Then come the landings. All the pilots made good landings, starting with wheel landings, and most getting three-pointers on the second or third try. The T-6 is a joy to fly, and to land, but the instant the wheels meet the runway, she turns into a rattlesnake. Without prior tailwheel training, no one, civilian or military, test pilot or not, has the foggiest idea of how much rudder is needed, how active you have to be with rudder to keep the airplane straight, and how eager the airplane is to go both ways at once. In test-pilot terms, the airplane is catastrophically and instantly unstable in yaw on the ground."

    For a good laugh, also read the dialogue below the heading "Formation Flying" :)

    Regards,

    Henning (HoHun)
     
  10. pbfoot

    pbfoot Active Member

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2005
    Messages:
    7,636
    Likes Received:
    4
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Location:
    niagara falls
    I've got about a 180hours in 70s on light ac C152 C172 Pa28 and Citabria last . Recently i've had a couple a rides in the T6/Harvard about 2 hours and when given control found it easy to control, it trimmed out well and was responsive not at all heavy on the controls I surprised myself by making a steep turn without change in altitude and it rolled out right on the heading . Maybe I was just lucky
     
  11. ppopsie

    ppopsie Member

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2006
    Messages:
    461
    Likes Received:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Occupation:
    to read and receive
    Location:
    East end
    >but the instant the wheels meet the runway....

    I would like to point out THAT makes pilot's life more interesting, challenging and joyous one. As a private hobby pilot myself, I enjoyed flying in taildraggers. Simply you should not allow the airplane to veer off the centerline even by 0.01 degrees by kicking the rudder/brake pedals. To achieve a perfect three pointer was a sheer joy to me.

    Actually those who didn't think the SNJ difficult made an Aviator and the others simply could not. I think it might have been very difficult for the student pilots to master very complicated T-6s or SNJs but these were the just basics.

    Even the P-51s and the Corsairs were more docile to fly than the SNJ, to carry out the business or missions in those front line aircraft were another matter which I never have experienced.
     
  12. mkloby

    mkloby Active Member

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2006
    Messages:
    3,561
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    36
    Occupation:
    USMC - Capt - 7532
    Location:
    Jacksonville, NC
    I wouldn't say that those that thought the T-6 difficult didn't become aviators. Something being difficult and quitting is quite different from adapting and overcoming.
     
  13. ppopsie

    ppopsie Member

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2006
    Messages:
    461
    Likes Received:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Occupation:
    to read and receive
    Location:
    East end
    My comment is based on a writing made by an ex-JASDF instructor/pilot who used to wash out one incompetent student after another while he taught flying in the T-6s in early 60's.

    In one of the USAF study about pilot trainings I noted an interesting comment. In 50's when the Air Force still used T-6s for the primary training there were number of students just quit from the training course mainly because of the nature of the aircraft which demanded students too much. I think I got it from NASA library.

    What I would like to mean was that the aircraft like T-6 or SNJ must've been very useful to connect simple trainers and complicated front line machines. In this being a taildragger alone would not mean much but the aircraft and system in a whole would.

    BTW does anybody have experience in flying T-28s? I see it was an improved T-6.

    And I would love to fly one some day.
     

    Attached Files:

  14. AL Schlageter

    AL Schlageter Banned

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2007
    Messages:
    220
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    From Wings for Victory about the BCATP in Canada

    Stearman
    hours flown - 75,437
    Cat A - 11
    Cat B - 18
    Cat C - 53
    hrs flown/accident - 920

    Harvard
    hours flown - 2,968,189
    Cat A - 343
    Cat B - 289
    Cat C - 2162
    hrs flown/accident - 1,062

    Cornell
    hrs flown/accident - 2,292
    hours flown - 1,123,158

    Tiger Moth
    hrs flown/accident - 1,197
    hours flown - 1,778,348

    Finch
    hrs flown/accident - 494
    hours flown - 389,636

    Oxford
    hrs flown/accident - 1,194
    hours flown - 848,588

    Crane
    hrs flown/accident - 2,847
    hours flown - 1,668,338
     
  15. mkloby

    mkloby Active Member

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2006
    Messages:
    3,561
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    36
    Occupation:
    USMC - Capt - 7532
    Location:
    Jacksonville, NC
    I understand what you mean - but my comment is based on actually going through Navy flight school. The aircraft have changed, but the same principles are there now that were there in 1940. Flight school has a fairly high attrition rate. Some guys fail out on academics, some can't land, some can't radio nav out of a paper bag, and some guys just are terrible sticks all around.

    If a student busts his arse, comes prepared for all briefs and flights, 99% of instructors out there will bust theres if they have difficulties with the stick. I can't imagine it was any different back then.

    I flew T-34C in primary - the T-28 was long gone. I think the last classes flew them in the early 1980s. We had T-28s on display at both NAS Corpus and NAS Whiting. Awesome bird... I would have LOVED to fly that in primary.
     
  16. ppopsie

    ppopsie Member

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2006
    Messages:
    461
    Likes Received:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Occupation:
    to read and receive
    Location:
    East end
    Thanks. Last month I came across a Navy brochure about the new pilot training program in which the initial phase/screening training are to be done in GA in which the candidate have to go solo before 13.5hrs of flying a C-152 or alike, as per Jeppesen training syllabus dictates. The Air Force document I cited previously had wrote roughly the same.

    The aim for doing that is to reduce student attritions after transiting to more advanced (hence expensive) stages. I was deeply impressed that is what the US military aviation had concluded after 80 years to examine and to train hundred thousands of pilot candidates. Maybe the cost has prioroty over other things but I am proud of the GA for its level as it was recognized as such.

    I would like to point out however, in "our" hobby flying there are no screening existed after just one or two days of checkrides by the examiners. Pilots not competent enough for a long run can easily be pass through that and what will happen are the accidents after ten or twenty years.

    In my opinion screening of the pilot candidates is primarily to prevent possible accidents or unsatisfactory performance of jobs or business in the air.
     
  17. FLYBOYJ

    FLYBOYJ "THE GREAT GAZOO"
    Staff Member Moderator

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2005
    Messages:
    23,205
    Likes Received:
    787
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Aircraft Maintenance Manager/ Flight Instructor
    Location:
    Colorado, USA
    But that's the point of the check ride - to ensure the pilot is safe and has the decision making capacity to do the right thing. And then you have the flight review given every two years to once again ensure the competency of the pilot. There is always the encouragement for GA pilots to get additional ratings (instrument, commercial, ect.). It is hoped that those not competent or safe enough eventually stop flying. I think last year there were 650 GA accidents and about 450 deaths - that's one tenth of what existed say 40 years ago.
     
  18. ppopsie

    ppopsie Member

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2006
    Messages:
    461
    Likes Received:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Occupation:
    to read and receive
    Location:
    East end
    That is what we didn't have and do not still. ICAO once did an audit of our system, had pointed out that one. These are some of the recurrency trainings and safety educational classed held at many locations recently but I see these scarcely take effect. It is mainly attributable to the size of our GA or private aviation. I flew on a non-paid basis for more than 25 years but it was exceptional among ours.

    BTW what was your first written exam score for the PPL, Flyboy? Mine was 97.
     
  19. renrich

    renrich Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2007
    Messages:
    4,542
    Likes Received:
    5
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Occupation:
    real estate
    Location:
    Montrose, Colorado
    I appreciate all of the replies relating to my original question regarding the difficulty involved in mastering the T6. The discussion seems to bear out what the writer said in the magazine article. Richard Linnekin in his book, "Eighty Knots to Mach 2," trained in the SNJ in 1945 at Kingsville NAS and called it an "honest" airplane.
     
  20. FLYBOYJ

    FLYBOYJ "THE GREAT GAZOO"
    Staff Member Moderator

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2005
    Messages:
    23,205
    Likes Received:
    787
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Aircraft Maintenance Manager/ Flight Instructor
    Location:
    Colorado, USA
    85 for me - you did real well....

    That last written I took was for my CFII - 92...
     
Loading...

Share This Page