Fairchild PT-19 Cornell N33870
One of only three PT-19 Cornells currently flying in Europe, N33870 last flew in her native America in the early 1950s and was imported to the United Kingdom shortly after. Passing through a succession of owners he was then stored until the 1990s when a restoration began, however she didn't fly following restoration and she was purchased by CFMC in 2006. A thorough overhaul followed which resulted in her finally taking to the air again in the hands of Dale Featherby during September 2008. Operated since in the UK, she re-located to her new base near Bordeaux, France, in February 2019.
With beautifully harmonised controls and docile yes responsive handling, the PT-19 remains, although somewhat under-powered for her weight, a delight to fly and harks back to the golden age of flying machines and can best be described as an "aeronautical leather armchair".
Permanent hangarage is essential for these old wood and fabric aeroplanes.
This illustrates the mixed construction technique which constituted the construction of the PT-19. The wing, tailplane and fin are of largely wooden construction with a bonded layer of fabric to provide a degree of protection from the environment. The fuselage frame is of welded steel construction covered with wooden formers to provide the external profile and covered in a doped fabric "sock".
These show the engine installation. A superbly reliable Ranger inverted straight 6 air-cooled engine, it really is a pleasure to fly behind.
These two shots illustrate well the simplicity and originality of the front cockpit. The only concessions to modernity is a modern VHF comm set, essential for operating in todays airspace environment. The venturi located on the left side below the front windscreen is an original feature and provides suction for the Turn Indicator. The black metal case between the rudder pedals contains the 12 volt battery which provides power for the VHF comm set.
Current plans involve the PT-19 being partially re-painted in a new colour scheme at some stage during 2021, retaining the blue and yellow scheme, but obtaining different national markings.