Commonwealth Air Training Plan Museum
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British Commonwealth Air Training Plan Aircraft

The Fleet Finch​​
 The Fleet Finch was a primary elementary training aircraft in the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan. It is a two seat biplane produced by the Fleet Aircraft Company of Fort Erie Ontario under license of the Consolidated Aircraft Company. Of the total of 606 Fleet Finches produced, 431 were used by the BCATP. The Royal Canadian Air Force model, the Fleet 16 was first produced with a tandem open cockpit. it soon became obvious that in order to fly in Canadian winters, cockpits must be enclosed. New Finches were equipped with a sliding canopy and those in service without a canopy were retrofitted with one.

Two variants of the Fleet Finch were used by the Royal Canadian Air Force. The first was the Model 16R (Finch I) of which 27 were built for the RCAF and were powered by the Kinner R5-2 five cylinder radial engine. The second variant was the Model 16B (Finch II) of which 404 were built for the RCAF. It was powered by the Kinner B5-R five cylinder radial engine.

With over 8,000 produced for various air forces of the world, the Tiger Moth overwhelmed the Fleet Finch by numbers but both were used in the Elementary Flying Training Schools. Twelve of 25 RCAF EFTS schools utilized the Fleet Finch while 15 RCAF schools and three RAF schools used the Tiger Moth. Five of the RCAF schools used both the Fleet Finch and the Tiger Moth to train students. Eventually during World War II, the RCAF replaced both of these aircraft with the Fairchild Cornel. The last Finches were struck off RCAF inventory in 1947,

For the Fleet Finch, maximum speed is 104 mph, cruise speed is 85 mph, range is 300 miles and service ceiling is 10,500 feet.

 British Commonwealth Air Training Plan Schools
using the Fleet Finch for elementary training:

No. 3 London, Ontario (Finch)

No. 4 Windsor Mills, Quebec (Finch and Moth) at Saint-François-Xavier-de-Brompton, Quebec Picture

No. 7 Windsor, Ontario (Finch, Cornell)

No. 10 Hamilton, Ontario, moved to Pendleton, Ontario (Moth, Finch and Cornell at Pendleton)

No. 11 Cap-de-la-Madeleine, Quebec (Finch and Cornell)

No. 12 Goderich, Ontario (Finch)

No. 13 St. Eugene, Ontario (Finch, Cornell)

No. 14 Portage la Prairie, Manitoba (Moth and Finch)

No. 16 Edmonton, Alberta (Moth and Finch)

No. 17 Stanley, Nova Scotia (Finch and Moth)

No. 21 Chatham, New Brunswick (Finch)

No, 22 No. 22 L’Ancienne-Lorette, Quebec (Finch), Quebec 

​​Commonwealth Air Training Plan Museum - Fleet Finch