About Us

OUR AIRCRAFT

 

History of VH-DGP "Miss Fire"

 

"Miss Fire" was ordered by the US Government for construction by North American Aviation in 1941 under contract number 41-17122 as an AT-6B. Some modifications to the electrical system resulted in its final construction as an AT-6D model.

"Miss Fire" served with the USArmy Air Force during WW2 as an advanced fighter trainer for those pilots designated to be fighter pilots. She trained many fighter pilots who went into frontline combat in the European and Pacific Theatres.

Following WW2, "Miss Fire" was taken on charge by the Paraguay Air Force where she saw service as a frontline fighter in air to ground combat operations. She even has bullet holes in the fuselage rear of the cockpit from her frontline service.

In 1999, she was fully restored to her current pristine condition by Panama Jacks in Western Australia and named "Miss Fire".

OUR CREW

 

The pilots at Southern Warbird Adventures are highly experienced with many years of warbird flying and full time commercial flying to their credit. 

 

In addition to extensive experience on the T6 Texan, they are accredited on other classic types of aeroplanes including the Douglas DC-3 Dakota and the North American P51 Mustang.  Your safety is their priority. 

 

Their goal is to ensure you have an enjoyable and memorable experience.

T6 history

 

The North American T6 Texan was a single-engine advanced trainer aircraft used to train fighter pilots of the United States Army Air Forces, United States Navy, Royal Air Force and other air forces of the British Commonwealth during World War II. Designed by North American Aviation, the T-6 was known by a variety of designations depending on the model and operating air force. The US Army Air Corps ( forerunner of the US Army Air Force) designated it as the "AT-6", the US Navy the "SNJ", and British Commonwealth air forces, the "Harvard".


Development

 

The Texan originated from the North American NA-16 prototype (first flown on April 1,1935). The NA-16 was a low wing monoplane of metal construction with open cockpits. The undercarriage was fixed and was powered by a Wright R-975 radial engine capable of producing 400 horsepower. With some further modifications including a glazed cockpit the aeroplane was designated the NA-18 by North American and was accepted by the USAAC into their "Basic Combat" aeroplane competition in March 1937. Additional modifications such as the 600 hp Pratt and Whitney R-1340 radial engine and retractable landing gear resulted in the North American NA-26. The type went into production as the AT-6 “Texan” (AT means "Advanced Trainer) and SNJ. The aeroplane was also ordered by the Royal Air Force and Commonwealth Air Forces as the” Harvard 1” and by the Royal Canadian Air Force as the “Yale”.

 

Operational History

 

During WW2 the T6 was used extensively by the Allied Air Forces as an advanced fighter trainer. Following basic training on the PT-17 Boeing “Stearman” with the USAAC or US Navy, those students designated to be fighter pilots would then train on the T6 learning advanced flying skills, managing more advanced aircraft systems and fighter combat tactics. Those pilots designated as fighter pilots in the Commonwealth Air Forces would graduate from the Tiger Moth to the “Harvard”.

Every Allied fighter pilot during WW2 would be required to master the T6 and graduate from advanced flight training on this aeroplane before being designated to fly operationally on any of the famous fighters such as the Supermarine Spitfire or the North American P51 Mustang.

During the Korean War and to a lesser extent, the Vietnam war, T6s were pressed into service as forward air control aircraft. These aircraft were designated T6 "Mosquitos".

The RAF used the “Harvard” in Kenya against the Mau Mau in the 1950s where they operated with 20lb bombs and machine guns. The T6 was also used in a light attack or counter insurgency role by France during the Algerian conflict armed with machine guns, bombs and rockets.


The T6 Today

 

The T6 is a regular participant at air shows and has been used in many movies. For example, in Tora! Tora! Tora!, T6s were converted to a single seat configuration and painted in Japanese markings representing Mitsubishi Zeroes.

The Reno National Air Races also has a class specifically for the T6 during the Air Races each year.

A total of 15,495 T6s of all variants were built.


Specifications

 

Data from Jane’s Fighting Aircraft of World War II

General characteristics
Crew: two (student and instructor)
Length: 29 ft (8.84 m)
Wingspan: 42 ft (12.81 m)
Height: 11 ft 8 in (3.57 m)
Wing area: 253.7 ft² (23.6 m²)
Empty weight: 4,158 lb (1,886 kg)
Loaded weight: 5,617 lb (2,548 kg)
Powerplant: 1× Pratt & Whitney R-1340-AN-1 Wasp radial engine, 600 hp (450 kW)


Performance
Maximum speed: 208 mph at 5,000 ft (335 km/h at 1,500 m)
Cruise speed: 145 mph (233 km/h)
Range: 730 miles (1,175 km)
Service ceiling: 24,200 ft (7,400 m)
Rate of climb: ft/min (m/s)
Wing loading: lb/ft² (kg/m²)