A North American Harvard II B training aircraft recently arrived at the Newark Air Museum (newarkairmuseum.org).
This particular Harvard is believed to have been built in America in 1942 and served with the Royal Canadian Air Force and the Dutch Air Force as a pilot / aircrew training aircraft. The airframe is believed to have carried the serial number 42-12417 (Dutch AF B-163 and RCAF FE930) although there appears to be some discrepancy on this identification and work is currently underway to re-validate the data plate on the airframe. Any assistance in resolving this issue would be appreciated by the museum staff and volunteers.
The Harvard fills an important gap in the museumís themed display of training aircraft. During World War II the type was used in Canada to train thousand of British and Commonwealth airmen as part of the Empire Air Training Plan, which provided vitally important aircrew for all parts of the RAF and Commonwealth Air Force Squadrons.
This particular aircraft will require a significant amount of restoration work by the museum volunteers before it is returned to full display standard and they are already making plans about how they will fit the project into the current Exhibit Restoration Program.
ìA Harvard aircraft has been an acquisition target for many years and this one will help illustrate the important wartime training role the type provided out in Canada .î commented Museum Acquisition Officer, David Hibbert, he continued. ìIn the early 1990s we briefly had a Harvard on loan from the RAF Museum, but now we have been able to purchase one ourselves.î He concluded, ìWe are very excited by this new arrival and the volunteers are already looking forward to getting to grips with restoring it.î