The Valiant was the basic trainer most widely used by the U.S. Army Air Forces during World War II. It represented the second of the three stages of pilot training — primary, basic and advanced. Compared with the primary trainers in use at the time, it was considerably more complex. The BT-13 not only had a more powerful engine, it was also faster and heavier. In addition, it required the student pilot to use two-way radio communications with the ground and to operate landing flaps and a two-position variable pitch propeller.
Nicknamed the “Vibrator” by the pilots who flew it, the BT-13 was powered by a 450-hp Pratt & Whitney R-985 engine. Because of a shortage of these engines, however, 1,693 Valiants flew with Wright R-975 engines, thereby becoming BT-15s. By the end of WWII, 10,375 BT-13s and BT-15s had been accepted by the USAAF.
The BT-13B on display, one of 1,775 Bs built, was acquired from Raymond Brandly of West Carrollton, Ohio, in 1965.