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Photo ID: 1011315
click image to enlarge
Model: M-62C, PT-23A Registration: N62476
Year: 1942 Serial Number: T42-6001
Engine(s): Continental W670, 220-HP Owner: Glick Aviation
Smoketown, PA
Location: Smoketown Airport
Smoketown, PA
Photographer: Stoltzfus, Ken
Date: 2003, November Present Registration: Same Present Owner (FAA info):
Notes: 1/28/04 - The Fairchild PT-23 was a WW-II trainer and contemporary of the Stearman. "PT", as many readers know, stands for "Primary Trainer".

The Fairchild PT-19/23/26 series have a fabric covered, welded steel tubular fuselage. The wings are wood construction, with fabric covered mahogany plywood sheeting. One does a pretty serious termite check inside when beginning a restoration!

The Fairchild M-62A, military PT-19 has a 175-HP, Ranger 6-440-C2 (inverted, 6-cylinder in-line) and is open cockpit. The M-62C, PT-23, is the same airframe but with a Continental W670, 220-HP, 7-cylinder radial. The M-62A-3 and -4, PT-26, has the 200-HP, Ranger 6-440-C5, a canopy, full electrical and was named the Cornell by the RCAF. FAA Aircraft Specification A-724 also shows a model M-62B with a Warner Super Scarab 165 radial. They were exported but were not used by our military.

These aircraft cruise at about 110-mph and stall at half that. About 8,000 of the M-62 series were built. Brand new, they were about $10,000 each and today a nicely restored aircraft will bring well over $50,000.

N62476 was formerly owned by "Pappy" Brubaker, from the Dover, Delaware area and sat for some years before Mel bought it. On the FAA registration the manufacturer is listed as "Fairchild (Howard)". Many of these aircraft were built for Fairchild by others, and 349 PT-23's were built by Howard. Other PT-23's were built by Aeronca, St. Louis, and Canadian Fleet.

I see some confusion about serial numbers when I look at various web sites on the Fairchild PT series. Each aircraft had a manufacturer's construction number (c/n), and a military serial number. FAA Spec. A-724 says to use the manufacturer's number when available. This aircraft is T42-6001, which is the manufacturer's construction number. The c/n's are tantalizingly similar to military serial numbers of the same period and some people feel compelled to try to make them such. I have not been able to find a cross reference between the two number series, similar to what is available on many other aircraft. Any help out there?

Photo ID: 1011316
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Notes: The PT-23 lacks the more graceful lines of the Ranger-powered PT's, but it helps appease one's hunger for a radial engine. Then too, W670 parts are easier to come by than Ranger parts.

The 45-gallons of fuel are in the wings. You have a hand operated wobble pump to build fuel pressure for starting, and then the engine-driven fuel pump takes over.
Photographer: Stoltzfus, Ken

Photo ID: 1011317
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Notes: The wood flaps are manually operated.

Note the roll-over structure there between the cockpits, to protect the occupants in the event it goes on its back.

Some PT-23's were modified by D.D. Funk Aviation, of Oklahoma, to become the F-23 ag aircraft. The F-23 evolved into the Weatherly, but later Weatherly's were scratch built.
Photographer: Stoltzfus, Ken

Photo ID: 1011318
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Notes: The wide-geared PT-23 is much more directionally stable than the Stearman. It has 7.50x10 wheels with expander tube brakes. The FAA spec sheet lists skis as an option.

My Father bought a dozen Stearmans at Bush Field, Georgia in 1946. Some of the pilots he took down to ferry them back had learned to fly in PT-23's, on the G.I. Bill, and had a hard time checking out in the Stearman. One didn't make it at all and drove a car home.
Photographer: Stoltzfus, Ken

Photo ID: 1011319
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Notes: Mel Glick has been in aviation for more than a few years. His idyllic Smoketown, PA airport has grown into quite a commercial enterprise. Its 2400' asphalt and grass runways just east of Lancaster, in the heart of Pennsylvania's Amish community, see a lot of traffic.

"Crew Chief J.P. Stoltzfus", is "Uncle John" to me. My father's youngest brother, Uncle John finished the restoration on this aircraft for Mel.
Photographer: Stoltzfus, Ken

Photo ID: 1011320
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Notes: Fairly simple here, but more knobs and gadgets than the WW-II trainee had! The aircraft originally had a hand-inertia starter, at best. If you've ever wound one of them up you understand why Mel has an E-80, electric starter on N62476.

More about Uncle John. When Father went to Georgia to get the Stearmans in 1946, he took his kid-brother John along to drive one of the cars home. When one pilot couldn't check out in the Stearman, Uncle John got the nod. He was a 19-year old student pilot with 26-hours in a Piper J-3 and J-5. Father gave him an hour dual in the Stearman and they headed for Coatesville, PA. It was the beginning of a career that included countless hours in Stearmans, and then the Weatherly, Thrush, Twin Beech, DC-3 and Chase YC-122.
Photographer: Stoltzfus, Ken

Photo ID: 1011321
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Notes: There's some really neat woodwork in these old aircraft. How many airplanes have you ever flown with a varnished wood baggage compartment?

The wing walk here is much narrower than on a Stearman. The difference is, on the Stearman you have fabric just outside of the wing walk, and here you have wood. It is not as critical if you get off to the side a little.
Photographer: Stoltzfus, Ken
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