Fairchild PT-23A         N58526                     (c/n         )


                                                    By 1942 the Ranger engine which powered the likes of the PT-19 and UC-61 was in such
                                                    demand and short supply that a version of the PT-19 powered by an uncowled  Continental
                                                    radial engine was produced, resulting in the somewhat ugly derivation pictured above.  Many
                                                    found their way onto the civil register after the war and N58526 (the rego is decipherable on
                                                    the original negative) was one of them, photographed here at El Monte Airport in the early 1960s.
                                                    Records indicate that this machine was originally built in Canada by Fleet (they only made 93
                                                    of them) and allocated RAF serial FV142, but carried RCAF serial 15043.   It was returned to
                                                    the USA after WW II in accordance with Lend Lease terms.
                                                    The owner of N68359 below (a TWA pilot?) cowled the engine on his PT-23, giving it a some-
                                                    what different look again.   Strangely, the history of this machine is given as also being built in
                                                    Canada as a PT-26 (RAF serial FH980) and taken on charge by the RCAF in 1943.  However,
                                                    this is at odds with FAA records which show that this was a Howard built machine, and that it is
                                                    in fact (incredibly) still on the register. .  Assuming it was a Canadian built aircraft, it would appear
                                                    that the variants produced north of the border were the preferred examples. Maybe Fleet did a
                                                    better job?