T6 Harvard Aviation



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Ok, now lets taxi the machine out and do our run up checks.

Before I climb in to this monster, I have a good look all around and in front of the aircraft for any potential hazards.

Back in the days when this aircraft was in military service they would have had ground crew assigned to each aircraft, unless you have this luxury you are on your own. Once strapped in the vision forward and over the nose is seriously restricted. I like to have the confidence to slowly taxi forward and off set my self immediately at a 45-degree angle so I can see forward before ‘weaving’ my way ahead.

The taxi is assisted by the tail wheel steering which allows 15 degrees of travel either side with the stick held hard back locking in the tail wheel pin. As you taxi this machine forward now with the cockpit hatch opened, weaving your way to the run up area you actually feel like your handling something quite special. Just remember this aircraft will draw attention and there will be lots of eyes on you as you taxi out, any mistakes will undoubtedly be caught on camera and on you tube within minutes! These aircraft are seriously nose heavy so be careful on those brakes… we don’t want to nose this aircraft over!

The run up checks are quite normal as the fuel tank is changed to the right hand tank, T’s and P’s are checked. The engine is throttled forward to 1700 rpm with the stick held firmly back and the propeller is exercised through three cycles in a slow deliberate fashion on the prop lever then the mags are checked at 2000 rpm looking for a mag drop of no more than 100. Its important to keep awareness of the aircraft creeping forward if the brakes aren't holding... The cardinal sin while at high RPM and doing your power checks would be to hit the brakes if you realised that the aircraft was creeping forward... You may find your self very quickly on the nose! The good habit is to reduce power quickly to idle and then apply brakes slowly.

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After checking the engine idles correctly its time for the pre take off checks. All pretty standard stuff for a piston aircraft however there are so many variations of speeds, pressures, settings and conditions in the many varied aircraft manuals available… none of the countries militaries that operated the Harvard really seem to agree on any set data?

I use the time tested TT MM PP FF GG HH Elevator trimmer to eleven o’clock, rudder trimmer to two o’clock, Mixture rich, Mags on both, Prop forward, Primer locked, Fuel on correct tank, Contents and balance ok, Flaps retracted, Gyro’s, Gills, Harness done up, hatches closed, Approach clear, Transponder on, Pitot if needed, Lights if required and a quick radio call and we are off!

"Ready for Departure"

With the left hand the throttle is eased forward looking for 36 inches of manifold pressure with 2250 Rpm showing on the clock, the aircraft wants to yaw to the left but a little right rudder keeps this in check. The swing is more noticeable on the tarmac runway, keeping the Harvard in a shallow climb attitude she lifts off at around 80 mph. Once airborne and the speed is increasing its time to reach forward with the left hand and raise the gear, as the gear clunks in to place the two greens will go out and the indicator in the cockpit will show gear up. Now at 110 mph continue the climb and away we go!

STEP 1 - First Flight in the T6 Harvard
STEP 2 -
Starting the T6 Harvard
STEP 3 -
The T6 Harvard Pre Take Off and Taxi
STEP 4 -
First T6 Harvard "Solo"

Photography - Where possible we have attributed all photographs to the photographer where known. Its not our intention to breach any copyright as most of the pictures have been taken from open source media.

email: Info@T6Harvard.com
Mobile: +44 (0) 7850 907183 (Glen)
Mobile: +44 (0) 7840 750999 (Neil)
Mobile: +44 (0) 7747 841348 (Mike)
Mobile: +44 (0) 7717534574 (Andy)
+973 35346217 (Andy Primary)

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