Type: Two-seat, tandem training biplane
Notable Facts: The Vintage Wings of Canada Fleet Finch is dedicated to Squadron Leader Hartland Finley, RCAF who flew this Finch while training at No.4 EFTS, Windsor Mills, Quebec during the Second World War
Serial Number: 4462
Recent Markings: BCATP No.4 EFTS Windsor Mills
The S/L Hart Finley Fleet Finch II - Model 16
Joe Cosmano, Peter Ashwood Smith, Hebb Russell, Doug Fleck, Dave Hadfield
First Flight: 1939
Total Production (All Marks): 606
Wingspan: 28 ft 0 in (8.53 m)
Engine: 130 hp Kinner B5-R, five cylinder radial engine
Maximum Speed: 104 mph (167 km/h)
The Finch was a mainstay of the RCAF prior to and during the early part of the Second World War, flying at the Elementary Flying Training Schools (EFTS) in parallel with the better known de Havilland Tiger Moth. The earlier Fleet Model 7 (Fleet Fawn) was also in use for primary training. During 1940, initial production problems were solved and timely deliveries were made to the RCAF, allowing the first training programs to start up. In the following year, the Portuguese Navy purchased ten Model 16Ds (ordered as 10Bs but changed to the higher powered variant) and later a further five 16Ds were delivered in 1942.
A total of 606 Fleet Finches were produced as Model 16s, the majority for the RCAF. They were used as initial trainers in the BCATP at no fewer than 12 Elementary Flight Training Schools across Canada. Both the Fleet Finch and Tiger Moth were later replaced by the Fairchild PT-26 Cornell. The Finch was progressively phased out of service from October 1944 with the last of the Model 16s struck off strength from the RCAF inventory in 1947.