Todd Lemiuex, Gord Simmons, Francis Bélanger, Blake Reid, Bruce Evans, Ulrich Bollinger, John Aitken
First Flight: 1939
Total Production (All Marks): 6,397
Wingspan: 36 ft (10.97 m)
Engine: Fairchild Ranger L-440-3, 200 hp
Maximum Speed: 132 mph (212 km/h)
The Vintage Wings of Canada Fairchild Cornell (10712) was built by the Fleet Aircraft Company of Canada, one of 1642 Cornells constructed under license, and they were designated either as PT-23s or PT-26s. As the Second World War advanced, the RCAF needed a more advanced trainer for the BCATP. The existing DH 82C Tiger Moths and Fleet 16B’s used for elementary flying training proved to be a significant step down from contemporary service aircraft. In the spring of 1941, the RCAF therefore decided on a development of the Fairchild Aircraft (US) Company’s PT-19 trainer design. The RCAF version was to feature an enclosed cockpit, an improved heating system, equipment changes along with a Ranger piston engine. This modified version was to be known as the Fairchild Cornell in Canada and it rapidly entered production and found favour at elementary flying schools beginning in 1943.
The Vintage Wings of Canada Cornell is dedicated to Royal Air Force Flight Lieutenant Archie Pennie, an elementary flying instructor on Cornells during the Second World War. As part of the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan, Archie Pennie instructed RAF pilots on Cornells at No. 34 EFTS, Assiniboia, Saskatchewan for two years, and has nearly 650 hours instructing on the type. Archie went on to fly Bristol Blenheims and de Havilland Mosquitoes at the very end of the war.
Cornell 10712 was one of five bought from war surplus at Windsor Mills, Quebec by Paul Durand and his eldest son Bob in 1955. The price paid by the Durands that day ranged from $150.00 to $300.00