Type: Single engine, dual place, advanced military training aircraft

Notable Facts: Now painted in the markings of Harvard 2866 - known to have been flown by John Gillespie Magee, author of the poem High Flight.

Manufactured: 1952, Canadian Car & Foundry, Fort William, ON

Serial Number: CCF4-242, Military serial 20451

Current Registration: CF-ROA

Recent Markings: Harvard 43, RCAF SN 2866 of No. 2 SFTS, Uplands

The John Gillespie Magee North American Harvard Mk IV

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Mike Potter, Ulrich Bollinger, Rob Erdos, Rob Fleck, Paul Kissmann, John Aitken, Andrej Janik


First Flight: 1935

Total Production (All Marks): 21,342

Wingspan: 37 feet

Engine: Pratt and Whitney R-1340

Maximum Speed: 200+ mph


The Harvard is recognized as the greatest advanced training aircraft of the war. With its near fighter-like size and handling, the Harvard was the bridge between primary trainers such as the Tiger Moth and the high performance fighters of the day such as the Spitfire or Hurricane. Nearly 50,000 Allied pilots received their wings after qualifying on the Harvard at air training bases across the breadth of Canada as part of the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan (BCATP) - the “Aerodrome of Democracy”. Somewhat forgiving to fly, the Harvard was an able trainer, but had just enough quirks and vices to keep students on their toes.

The Harvard was initially an American design known as the AT-6 Texan and dates to 1935. But its robust construction means that many of the more than 21,000 built in the USA, Canada and Australia are still flying today - 70 years later. The Harvard 4 of Vintage Wings of Canada is painted in the standard all-over yellow paint scheme given to all training aircraft of the BCATP as well as postwar examples like this to make them highly visible in the crowded skies over training bases and also to make them easier to spot on the ground should they be forced down.


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