BT-15 Valiant (under restoration)

Aircraft Status:  This aircraft is being restored in the Wings Restoration hangar on the opposite side of the field from the museum.

Model:  BT-15 Valiant
Manufacturer:  Vultee Aircraft
USAAF Serial Number:  42-41689
Manufacturer’s Serial Number: 9536
Civil Registration Number: NC69987
Model Background
The BT-15 was used as a basic training aircraft for the USAAF and the US Navy.  Basic trainers were used as the second step of flight training during the WWII.  Basic trainers had more powerful engines, variable pitch propellors, and flaps.

There are two basic variants of this aircraft, the BT-13 and the BT-15  The difference between the variants was the engine.  The BT-15 used a 450hp Wright R-975-11 engine.  The US Navy also used the BT-15, but the Navy designated this type the SNV.

History of this example:

Military History
29 March 1943 Manufactured by Vultee Aircraft, Downey CA and received by the USAAF
March 1943 To AAF Basic Pilot Training School (Air Training Command), Gunter AAF AL
May 1943 To 554th AAF Base Unit (AAF Ferrying Command), Love Field, Dallas TX
August 1944 To 4117th AAF Base Unit (Air Materiel Command), Robins AAF, GA (storage)
September 1944 Dropped from inventory as salvage
Civilian History 
June 1946 After being released as excess inventory by the War Assets Administration by C. Christian, it was purchased by LaVern Pfeifer of Stillwater, Minnesota for $200.
July 1946 LaVern resold the aircraft to Harold G Sommers, a student pilot born in 1896, and living in Lake Elmo, Minnesota. Harold paid $600 and registered the BT-15 as NC69987.  Harry G. Sommers, is the nephew of a well known Minnesota Boy Scout Leader. Charles L. Sommers was instrumental in the formation of the oldest of Boy Scouts of America’s national high adventure bases.  The Northern Tier – Charles L. Sommers Canoe Base in Ely, Minnesota is named in his honor.
March 1947 NC69987 was sold Thomas H North of North Aviation, Co. in White Bear Lake, Minnesota.
January 1948 NC69987 was sold to C.V. Meline of Isanti, Minnesota.
June 1950 NC69987 was sold to Brant Aero at Holman Field, St. Paul, Minnesota. This made six civilian owners in 4 years and ends its first Minnesota stay.
March 1952 NC69987 was sold to John Giles of Madison, Wisconsin.
June 1952 NC69987 was sold to Glenway Enhert of West Bend, Wisconsin.
October 1954 NC69987 was sold to Edward and Chester Pachnik of Chicago, Illinois.  The Pachniks were the owners until after Edward’s death
May 1992 NC69987 was sold to Mike Rawson of Minneapolis, Minnesota.
2003 Wings Restoration LLC (a subsidary of Wings of the North) purchases a share of NC69987 and begins a complete restoration in partnership with Mike Rawson.
January 2013 Wings of the North purchases NC69987 from Mike Rawson.  Restoration continues.