Vultee BT-13 (BT-15) "Valiant"

Photo of Vultee BT-13B Valiant at USAF Museum

The "Valiant" was the basic trainer most widely used by the USAAF during WW II. It represented the second of the three stages of pilot training--primary, basic and advanced. Compared with the primary trainers in use at the time, it was considerably more complex. The BT-13 not only had a more powerful engine, it was also faster and heavier. In addition, it required the student pilot to use two-way radio communications with the ground, operate landing flaps and a two-position variable pitch propeller.

Nicknamed the "Vibrator" by the pilots who flew it, the BT-13 was powered by a Pratt & Whitney R-985 engine. But to counter the shortage of these engines early in the BT-13 production program, 1,693 Valiants were produced in 1941-2 with a Wright R-975 engine and were designated as BT-15s. By the end of WW II, 10,375 BT-13s and BT-15s had been accepted by the AAF.

The BT-13 on display, one of 1,775 -Bs built, was acquired from Mr. Raymond Brandly of West Carrollton, Ohio in 1965.

Span: 42 ft. 2 in.
Length: 28 ft. 8 1/2 in.
Height: 12 ft. 4 3/4 in.
Weight: 4,227 lbs. loaded
Armament: None
Engine: Pratt & Whitney R-985 of 450 hp.
Crew: Two (instructor & student)
Cost: $20,000
Serial number: 42-90629

Maximum speed: 155 mph.
Cruising speed: 130 mph.
Range: 880 miles
Service Ceiling: 19,400 ft.