In 1940, the French Air Force was in the midst of receiving an order for 230 Yale aircraft. When France fell to the German army, 113 aircraft had been delivered and another 119 were completed and awaiting shipment from the North American Aviation plant in Los Angeles. The Germans adopted the captured Yales for use as trainers in their air force. They were in service until the availability of spare parts ran dry and the aircraft became unservicable. The other 119 were taken by the RCAF under agreement with North American Aviation.

At the end of World War II, the RCAF sold all remaining Yales as scrap. Approximately 30 escaped the scrapper’s axe. Fifteen are currently flightworthy.

Based on the North American NA-16 Harvard design, the Yale was given a longer all-metal fuselage which was superior to the Harvard fuselage. Other modifications included moving the fin backwards and engine forward, the latter in order to maintain the aircraft’s centre of gravity.  Changes to the rudder and adoption of a wing design inferior to that of the Harvard, as well as receiving a less powerful engine caused the Yale to handle differently and with lower performance than the Harvard. A main difference between the Yale and the Harvard is that the latter had retractable landing gear.

The North American Yale was used at four Service Flying Training Schools, No. 1 Flying Instructor School in Trenton, four Wireless Schools and as an operational aircraft in one communications squadron and one in a fighter squadron.

Yale 3462 is owned by the Commonwealth Air Training Plan and is awaiting resources to finish restoration to flightworthy status. It was taken on strength by the RCAF on November 29 1940 at No.  14 Service Flying Training School in Aylmer Ontario. It was redeployed to No. 3 Wireless School in Winnipeg Manitoba. While at No. 14 SFTS, it was involved in a Category C crash. When it was struck off strength by Canada’s War Assets department on July 20 1943, the airframe had 2,110 hours on it.

The North American Yale has a maximum/cruise speed of 166/146 mph. Its range is 730 miles at cruising speed and is capable of five hours flying time. Its service ceiling is 17,500 feet. There was no armament on RCAF models.

North American Aviation opened for business in 1928. It was acquired by General Motor’s general aviation division in 1933 which moved production facilities from Maryland to California and changed the company’s focus to building training aircraft. During World War II, North American expanded operations into Ohio, Texas and Kansas and became the eleventh highest producer of military products. In 1948, General Motors let North American go to become a public company. In 1967 North American merged with Rockwell-Standard of which the new company became known as North American Rockwell. In December 1996, Boeing acquired the company.

North American Aviation had an incredible history related to the development and production of advanced aircraft, especially its military versions.  Other remarkable aircraft produced by North American include the Harvard (T-6 Texan) trainer, P-51 Mustang fighter, B-25 Mitchell bomber and F-86 Sabre Jet. North American also played a significant role in development and flight of the X-15 aircraft, the Apollo Command and Service Modules, the Saturn V rocket and the Space Shuttle.

Wikipedia – North American NA-64 Yale -

Wikipedia – North American Aviation -

Photo - By USAF - Canadian Forces, Public Domain -

The North American NA-64 Yale is an advanced World War II trainer aircraft used by the Royal Canadian Air Force in the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan. The Yales were acquired to be an intermediate trainer between the Elementary School’s Tiger Moths and Fleet Finches and Service Flying Training School’s Harvards.  The RCAF soon realized that this step was unnecessary and the Yales were relegated to duty as radio trainers. This aircraft was not originally intended for use in the `Plan,’ but when the opportunity came to acquire a fleet of Yales, the RCAF took advantage of the offer to ease the shortage of dual control trainer aircraft.

Commonwealth Air Training Plan Museum
Canada 150 Vignette – 038 of 150
British Commonwealth Air Training Plan
​Aircraft - The North American Yale​