Oakland Aviation Museum recently took delivery of a Thorp/Paulic T3B-1 aircraft. This one-of-a-kind plane was donated by the Hiller Aviation Museum of San Carlos, Calif.
The T-3B was designed by John Thorp, an instructor at the Boeing School of Aeronautics at Oakland Airport, and built by Rudy and Louis Paulic in 1933.
The T-3 is a side-by-side two-seater school closed cab of all-metal construction. The monoplane has a cantilevered low- wing and a taildragger landing configuration. The original 1939 prototype was NX21726 and was later modified in 1959 by Paulic with a larger engine and re-numbered NX6497C, as it is shown today.
John Thorp was a prolific designer. Following the T-3, he designed a modified version as the T-5, which was built by students at the Boeing School, and a further modified design with a tricycle landing gear known as the T-6. Thorp also designed the Piper Cherokee, Fletcher FU-24, Lockheed Little Dipper, Thorp T-18 and Thorp T-221.
Oakland Aviation Museum, located at old North Field at Oakland Airport, is housed in the 1939 Boeing School of Aeronautics building at 8252 Earhart Road. For more information: oaklandaviationmuseum.org