Commonwealth Air Training Plan Museum
Canada 150 Vignette – 106 of 150
British Commonwealth Air Training Plan
​Aircraft - The Fairchild Cornell​​
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​Commonwealth Air Training Plan Museum Fairchild Cornell FV725
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The Fairchild Cornell aircraft came to the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan as the primary, elementary, light trainer designated by the Royal Canadian Air Force to replace the de Havilland Tiger Moth and Fleet Finch. The Cornell is a two seat trainer which is 28x36x10.5 feet, has a maximum speed of 132 hours per hour, a range of 400 miles and service ceiling of 15,300 feet. It is noted as a more forgiving version of its predecessors with handling characteristics more like the combat aircraft that its students would eventually be flying.

Modelled on the Fairchild Aircraft Company’s M-62 aircraft it morphed into a number of variants through the course of its production life. The first flew in May 1939 and was named the Fairchild P-19A which was adopted by the United States Army Air Force and produced at the company’s plant in Hagerstown, Maryland. Those who mastered the P-19A in elementary training would move on to the Boeing-Stearman Kaydet for advanced flying training. Other verseions of the F-19A were adopted by the Royal Canadian Air Force and the Royal Air Force.  More than 7700 variants of the Fairchild M-62 were produced between 1939 and 1948.

The RCAF acquired this aircraft as the PT-26 and named it the Fairchild Cornell.  The P-26A variant was known at the Cornell II and the P-26B, the Cornell III. The RCAF versions included a Ranger L-440 200 horsepower engine, an enclosed cockpit, an improved cockpit heating system and fixed landing gear.  The first 800 Canadian Cornells were built by Fairchild in the USA while Fleet Aircraft in Fort Erie, Ontario ramped up production of the aircraft. By war’s end, Fleet produced 2853 Cornells of which 1565 went to the RCAF and 1288 went to the RAF.
The Cornell was replaced by the RCAF in 1948 with the de Havilland Chipmunk.

The Commonwealth Air Training Plan Museum’s Cornell, FV725, flies on a regular basis and is a P-26B.

Source of information:
BCATP Elementary Flying Training Schools using the Fairchild Cornell

No. 5 Lethbridge,Alberta/High River, Alberta 

No. 6 Prince Albert, Saskatchewan 

No. 7 Windsor, Ontario 

No. 10 Hamilton, Ontario/Pendleton, Ontario 

No. 11 Cap-de-la-Madeleine, Quebec 

No. 13 St. Eugene, Ontario

No. 15 Regina, Saskatchewan 

No. 19 Virden, Manitoba 

No. 20 Oshawa, Ontario 

No. 23 (RAF – RCAF operated) Davidson, Saskatchewan

No. 24 Abbotsford, British Columbia

No. 25 Assiniboia Saskatchewan

No. 31 (RAF) DeWinton, Alberta

No. 32 (RAF) Bowden, Alberta

No. 33 (RAF) Caron, Saskatchewan 

No. 34 (RAF) Assiniboia, Saskatchewan 

No. 35 (RAF) Neepawa, Manitoba