The value of military aviation to warfare became clear during World War I. The United States Army Air Service, (USAAF) realized the need for a new trainer to replace the all-wood structures of previous trainers. The Dayton-Wright Company, Chief Designer Colonel Virginus Clark had designed such an aircraft with a steel tube fuselage and a Clark Y airfoil. The parent company of Dayton-Wright was not that interested in producing aircraft. Reuben Fleet obtained the design rights to the Dayton-Wright aircraft. He formed the Consolidated Aircraft Company, redesigned the aircraft into a tandem configuration, eventually the aircraft was configured to be the Consolidated PT-1 “Trusty”. The PT-1 was responsible for a radical improvement in the safety record of USAAF pilot training. The engine on the PT-1 was replaced in 1928 with a radial air-cooled Wright J-5 engine. That aircraft became the Consolidated PT-3 “Husky” which was used as an Army and Navy trainer right up to the beginning of World War II when it was replaced by trainers such as the PT-17 Stearman and N3N.
|Registration Number||Date of Manufacture|
|Pre World War II Primary Trainer||Husky|
|Consolidated PT3||34 feet 6 inches|
|Overall length:||Empty weight:|
|28 feet 1 inches|
|Gross weight:||Fuel capacity:|
|Oil capacity||Engine type:|
|Propeller type:||Max Speed|
|Rate of Climb||Cruise Speed|
|690 feet/minute||79 mph|
|Service Ceiling||Number of Crew|
|Number Built||Number Surviving|
EAA Warbirds of America did not have to go far to find this historically significant aircraft. The EAA AirVenture Museum had a flyable example of this aircraft in its collection. EAA’s Consolidated PT-1/PT-3 came from Buck Hilbert’s collection of parts that Buck had obtained in Arkansas. He donated the collection to EAA in 1986, where museum staff and volunteers rebuilt the aircraft to fly at Pioneer Airport. Although an original engine for the PT-1 was available the reliability and availability of parts for the original engine was in doubt. EAA decided to re-engine the PT with a W-670 Continental, this configuration more closely represented the PT-3. The aircraft was completed in 1998 and flew at Pioneer Airport for several years. EAA Warbirds of America Training Command found out that EAA was interested in displaying the aircraft at AirVenture.
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