Developed as a private venture, the BT-13 was selected for US Army Air Corps use in September 1939. The type was the most numberous USAAF trainer of the Second World War, its production career lasting from 1940 to 1944.
During late 1947 and early 1948 agents of the "Haganah" movement scoured the world in search of aircraft for the "Shirut Avir" (air service), the IAF's predecessor. In early 1948 a pair of BT-13 were acquired in the US, out of five initially negotiated for. Of these only one departed the United States on April 10th 1948 on board Curtiss C-46 Commandos also destined for the "Shirut Avir". Although the plane apparently arrived in Israel on May 18 and sent to Ekron, by early July it had not yet been assembled . Once in service (by early September, possibly a month earlier) and designated B.62, the aircraft was used for basic pilot training with the 101st squadron at Herzliya. When IAF aircraft were reserialled in late November 1948 B.62 received the number 91001 although it was no longer airworthy in January 1949. It was retired shortly later and handed over to the Israeli Aviation Club. It may have been joined by the second as-yet-unassembled example initially acquired in the US.
Specification: Vultee BT-13A Valiant
Type: two-seat basic trainer.
Powerplant: one Pratt & Whitney R-984-AN-1.
Performance: max speed - 284 km/h, range - 1,166km.
Weights: empty - 1,822kg, max takeoff - 2,438kg.
Dimensions: span - 12.80m, length - 8.79m, height - 3.50m.
Sources: IAF Inventory