Published April 20, 2015
DAYTON, Ohio -- Vultee BT-13B Valiant (foreground) and Stearman PT-13D Kaydet in the World War II Gallery at the National Museum of the United States Air Force. (U.S. Air Force photo)
The Valiant was the basic trainer most widely used by the U.S. Army Air Forces during World War 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 and to 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 450-hp Pratt & Whitney R-985 engine. Because of a shortage of these engines, however, 1,693 Valiants flew with Wright R-975 engines, thereby becoming BT-15s. By the end of WWII, 10,375 BT-13s and BT-15s had been accepted by the USAAF.
The BT-13B on display, one of 1,775 Bs built, was acquired from Raymond Brandly of West Carrollton, Ohio, in 1965.
Engine: Pratt & Whitney R-985 of 450 hp
Maximum speed: 155 mph
Cruising speed: 130 mph
Range: 880 miles
Ceiling: 19,400 ft.
Span: 42 ft. 2 in.
Length: 28 ft. 8 1/2 in.
Height: 12 ft. 4 3/4 in.
Weight: 4,227 lbs. loaded
Serial number: 42-90629
Click here to return to the World War II Gallery.
Please note Springfield Street, the road that leads to the museum’s entrance, is undergoing construction through the beginning of September. Expect lane reductions and some delays. Please follow the signs and instructions provided by the road crews.
Additional information about our COVID precautions available here
The National Museum of the U.S. Air Force is located at:
1100 Spaatz Street
Wright-Patterson AFB OH 45433
(near Dayton, Ohio)