Military History Books
by Harold A. Skaarup   
Canadian Warplanes 4: Fleet Fort

Fleet Fort

Data current to 27 Dec 2020.

The Fleet Model 60K Fort was the only aircraft designed and built by Canadians during the Second World War and was also the first all-metal monoplane built by Fleet Aircraft of Canada  at Fort Erie, Ontairo.  It was intended to be an intermediate trainer employed for pilot training between the de Havilland Tiger Moth primary trainer and the North American Harvard advanced trainer.  Although it served with the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan, the Fort was redundant and was used to train wireless (radio) operators and had a relatively short operational career.

Pilot trainees found the Fort relatively easy to master, thereby making it unsuitable for transition to combat aircraft such as the Hawker Hurricane.  The Forts were therefore used to train wireless operators at No. 2 Wireless School, Calgary and No. 3 Wireless School, Winnipeg.

Two models were built, one having a 250 hp (190 kW) Jacobs engine and the other having a 330 hp (250 kW) Jacobs.  The more powerful engine gave the revised Fort a top speed of 193 mph (311 km/h) and the cruising speed 163 mph (262 km/h).  It then climbed at 1,650 feet (500 m) per minute and had a range of 610 miles (980 km).  Loaded weight was slightly increased to 2,900 pounds (1,300 kg).  The last Forts saw active service in 1944 and they were phased out of use by 1945; the last Model 60K was retired in 1946.

Fleet 60K Fort (101), (Serial Nos. 3540, 3561-3660).

 (Photo courtesy of J. Hazard)

Fleet 60K Fort.

Fleet 60K Fort, 16 May 1940.  (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3583644)

Fleet 60K Fort, RCAF (Serial No. 3562), cockpit, 25 Oct 1941.  (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3388532)

Fleet 60K Fort, RCAF (Serial No. 3562), ca 1942.  (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3204722)

Fleet 60K Fort, 3562, ca 1942.  (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3241751)

Fleet Fort, RCAF (Serial No. 3562), 25 Oct 1941.  (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3390421)