John “Skipper” Hyle – Harvard Mk. IV “J’s Bird”

John “Skipper” Hyle is the owner and operator of this 1952 North American Harvard Mk. IV “J’s Bird” which is available for airshows, flybys, formation and films. JayMatt Aviation dba “Air Corps Aerobatics” provides a living history bent to your airshow, we come in period flight gear and perform an act based on the World War II Acro Check that every Allied pilot took in the T-6, SNJ, or Harvard.

J’s Bird was received by the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) on 9 September 1952 and served with No. 1 Flying Instructor’s School at RCAF Station Trenton, Ontario. The aircraft was stuck from the records on 15 August 1966. It also spent some time with the Canadian Warplane Heritage, a flying museum similar to the American Airpower Heritage in this country, based in Ontario, Canada. After that it ended up in Vancouver, British Columbia where it was used in an aerial combat operation; “fighter pilot for a day” if you will. That explains the protrusions on the left wing tip and the vertical stabilizer; those are cameras. The left wing also has a laser emitter and the ADF boot is laser permeable. The smoke system was automatic, so when you are “lazed” it comes on to show a “hit”. The machine gun in the right wing root would have only been on some variants of the Harvard and T-6; this one is operated by propane.

The paint scheme represents that applied to training and administrative aircraft in Britain during World War II. The serial number you see actually belongs to a Harvard Mk II that saw service in England during that period. In that sense it is completely accurate, or inaccurate, depending on your point of view.

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