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Consolidated PT-6A
Consolidated PT-6A
Consolidated PT-6A
Manufacturer: Consolidated Aircraft, Buffalo, NY
Designation: PT-6
Version: A
Type: Trainer (Primary)
Length: 20' 9"
Height: 8'
Wingspan: 28'
Cost: $5,500
Load: 565 lbs
Powerplant: Kinner K5
Horsepower: 100 hp
Range: 350 miles
Cruise Speed: 88 mph
Max Speed: 105 mph
Ceiling: 12,200 ft

Following a year of negotiations with Mike Sheehan of Riverside, the museum took delivery of his Consolidated PT-6A in December, 2000. Though the flyable 70 year-old trainer was valued at more than $100,000, Sheehan sold it to the museum for $70,000.

Museum Foundation President Hal Austin and Restoration Manager Shayne Meder had wanted the plane since Sheehan restored it in authentic Army colors three years ago. This PT-6A is the oldest aircraft in existence known to have been stationed at March Field. The museum's latest acquisition was one of the 16 PT-6's purchased by the Army in 1930. It was assigned to the 13th School Group at March Field from 1930 to 1931. It rolled off the Consolidated Aircraft production line in Buffalo, N.Y. in June 1930. When March converted to a fighter-bomber base in April 1931, it was transferred to the Dept. of Commerce in Long Beach, Calif. From there, it went through about a dozen civilian owners. Sheehan, 49, bought it from the late vintage aircraft collector Ted Babbini in 1994.

March ARB Commander Col. Peter Bentley flew with Sheehan from Corona to March Field when he delivered the plane on Dec. 7th. Accompanying the PT-6A on the short hop was a Stearman flown by David Stephenson of Corona. The same evening it arrived, the PT-6A was used as the centerpiece of the museum's (7 December 2000) Christmas party for members and supporters. The above photo [bottom] shows the aircraft with a 160-hp Kinner R56 radial engine; it will be replaced with the original 100-hp Kinner K5 engine.