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Photo ID: 1011038
click image to enlarge
Model: T-6G Registration: N400GB
Year: Serial Number:
Engines: P&W R1340-AN1 Owner: George R. Brunk
Location: Stoltzfus Private Airport, Coatesville, PA Photographer: Stoltzfus, Ken
Date: 1958 Present Registration: Present Owner (FAA info):
Notes: A friend, George R. Brunk from Harrisonburg, VA, bought this T-6G in 1958. Technically it was his, but we took care of it and George came up once in a while to fly it.
We gave the U.S. Air Force $1200 for this aircraft, and flew it home from Texas. We did the inspection for FAA certification, sanded it down well and had it painted by the guys up at Kutztown, PA. It was a real clean T-6.
There are many models of the AT-6/SNJ. The T-6G was the latest Air Force version and is identified by the single piece side panels on the canopy. That is, there is no vertical strip in the middle of each main side panel, as on older models. All T-6G's were remanufactured from earlier models of the aircraft.
My twin brother Karl Stoltzfus and I took our Private Pilot's flight tests in N400GB. Our instructor was Bill Hunt, who had just gotten out of the Navy where he instructed in SNJ's, the Navy version of the T-6. Bill was "Good!", and soon became a pilot-hero of ours.
I got my Private ticket on June 10, 1960, at 148-hours total time. In those days we all took our flight test with FAA Inspectors, as there were no Designated Examiners. Inspector John VanArtsdalen wasn't real sure about having to wear a parachute with his suit and tie for our flight test, but he acquiesced and put it on as there was nothing else for him to sit on.
We sold "400 George Baker" shortly thereafter. It went for a hefty $3200 - - with a zero time, Navy overhauled engine! By this time the best P51's were going for the outrageous sum of $100,000 or so but T-6's were still cheap. My father, the late Chris D. Stoltzfus of Coatesville, PA, predicted that the T-6 would soon move into the slot that the P-51 had just vacated.
I believe that N400GB was destroyed in an accident some time after we sold it.
 

Photo ID: 1011039
click image to enlarge
Notes: Okay, I know the registration is not N400GB, but I can't make out what it is. We used masking tape to apply the N-number for the quick trip to Kutztown for paint, and the new registration was put on there. Father is shown here doing a run-up before a test flight - - and then on to the paint shop the next day.
Photographer: Stoltzfus, Ken
 

Photo ID: 1021005
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Notes: These were the days before "Warbird" was a common word and military paint schemes were in vogue. Most former military aircraft were painted something like this, with the movement toward authentic military paint jobs gaining momentum in the early/mid 1970's.
Photographer: Stoltzfus, Ken
 

Photo ID: 1011041
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Notes: Karl on the left, our father in the middle and me on the right, the day we got our Private tickets. It was a pretty happy day! Sadly, though, we sold the aircraft soon thereafter!
Photographer: Stoltzfus, Ken
 

Photo ID: 1011042
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Notes: : "Four hundred George Baker" beside our 1955 Cessna 170B, N3578C, and Stearman N97X. I had quite a bit of time in the '170. We bought it wrecked and had it repaired, and it is the only formerly-damaged aircraft I ever flew that just wasn't "right". It was a real dog.

The Stearman there is a very unusual combination. Father tried a lot of different things and came up with some real good ideas over the years. This wasn't one of them. He was rather determined to carry a big load with the 220-Continental, because the engines were cheaper than the '450 and used less fuel. We put the high lift, Ruletto wings on N97X in order to try to get a bigger load off the ground. Then we put 7:50x10 wheels and tires from a PT-19, in order to save weight. The handles on the back of the fuselage were cut off to cut down drag. This was a serious effort!

We all know that when you increase lift, you also increase - - - drag. There was just too much drag for that little '220, so we put a '450 on it, installed a 220-gallon Transland tank, put the 27" BT wheels and brakes on, and made it a real sprayer. NOW you're talking! Taking off empty into a good wind was almost a vertical experience!

N97X had an interesting demise. I'll try to find a picture of it alone and will tell the story there. I at least have a photo of it on the back of a flatbed truck when Karl and I retrieved it from the woods.
Photographer: Stoltzfus, Ken
 
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