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CONSOLIDATED PT-1/PT-3 HUSKY – N31PT

Colonel Virginius Clark, Consolidated’s chief engineer, designed the PT-1 as a two seat, tandem biplane. The PT-1/PT-3 series of Consolidated primary trainers was the bridge between the Jennys and Standards of the World War I era and the Stearman. From 1925 through 1935, virtually every Army and Navy airman took his primary instruction in planes of this family.

Buck Hilbert acquired a set of wings, ailerons, a center section and a complete tail group of a Consolidated PT-1 that had served as a National Guard trainer. The airplane had been transferred to the 154th Observation Squadron of the Arkansas National Guard and was based at Adams Field in Little Rock. The last recorded flight of the PT-1 was in 1935 when it was delivered to the University of Arkansas College of Engineering at Fayetteville for engineering study.

Buck donated the PT-1 remains to the EAA AirVenture Museum in 1986, where museum staff and volunteers went to work restoring the Husky in the museum’s restoration shop. It was intended that the PT would be on flying status at Pioneer Airport, so although a historically accurate Hisso engine was available, an abundant supply of spare parts was not. For this reason, a 220 Continental engine was installed instead, which made the airplane comparable in appearance and performance with the Wright J5 powered PT-3.

The restoration project was completed in 1998 and the Husky was moved to Pioneer Airport where it flew for several years before being put on permanent display.

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