North American NA-16

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NA-16/BT-9/NJ-1/ Harvard I/NA-57/Sk 14
NA-16 FAH-21 EDUARDO SOSA 2005.jpg
NA-16-2A/NA-42 "FAH-21" displayed outside at the Honduras Air Museum at Toncontín.
Role Trainer
Manufacturer North American Aviation
First flight 1 April 1935
Status retired
Primary users United States Army Air Corps
Royal Australian Air Force
Swedish Flygvapnet
France
Produced 1935 to 1939
Number built 1,935
Variants North American BT-9
CAC Wirraway
Developed into T-6 Texan
North American P-64
CAC Wirraway

The North American Aviation NA-16 was the first trainer aircraft built by North American Aviation, Inc. and was the beginning of a line of closely related North American trainer aircraft that would eventually number more than 17,000 examples.

Design and development[edit]

The NA-16 was a family of related single-engine, low-wing monoplanes with tandem seating.[1]

Variants could have an open cockpit (the prototype and the NA-22) or be under a glass greenhouse that covered both cockpits.[2] On some variants, the rear of the canopy could be opened for a gunner to fire to the rear.[3] A variety of air-cooled radial engines, including the Wright Whirlwind, Pratt & Whitney Wasp and Pratt & Whitney Wasp Junior of varying horsepowers, could be installed depending on customer preferences.[4] The fuselage was built up from steel tubes and normally fabric covered; however, later versions were provided with aluminium monocoque structures.[5]

During the development of the design, a six inch stretch was made by moving the rudder post aft.[6] Many versions had a fixed landing gear, but later versions could have retractable gear, mounted in a widened wing center section (which could have either integral fuel tanks or not).[7] Most had a straight trailing edge on the outer wing while again, some had the wing trailing edge swept forward slightly in an attempt to fix a problem with stalls and spins.[8] Several different rudders were used, with early examples having a round outline, intermediate examples having a square bottom on the rudder (Harvard I) and late examples using the triangular rudder of the AT-6 series, due to a loss of control at high angles of attack with the early types.[9] Horizontal and vertical tails were initially covered in corrugated aluminum, but later examples were smooth-skinned, and the horizontal stabilizer was increased in chord near its tips on later versions.[10]

The NA-16 flew for the first time on 1 April 1935, and was submitted to the United States Army Air Corps for evaluation as a basic trainer.[11] The Army accepted the trainer for production but with some detail changes. The modified NA-16 was redesignated by North American as the NA-18, with production examples entering Air Corps service as the North American BT-9 (NA-19). Similar aircraft continued to be sold outside the U.S. under the NA-16 designation.[12]

Foreign developments[edit]

Australia

The Commonwealth Aircraft Corporation produced 755 units of a modified version of the NA-16-2K known there as the Wirraway between 1939 and 1946.[13]

Argentina

Experience with the NA-16-4P and deteriorating political relations with the US led to the local development of the I.Ae. D.L. 21, which shared the NA-16 fuselage structure; however it proved too difficult to produce. As a result of this, an entirely new design (the I.Ae. D.L. 22) was built instead; it had similar configuration, but was structurally different and optimized to available materials.[14]

Japan

The NA-16-4RW and NA-16-4R inspired the development of the Kyushu K10W when the Imperial Japanese Navy instructed Kyushu to develop something similar.[15] The resulting aircraft owed little to the NA-16, however Allied Intelligence saw so few examples that the error was not corrected and some drawings show a modified NA-16.[15]

Variants[edit]

North American BT-9

Listing includes aircraft built specifically under NA-16 designation for export, and similar aircraft built for use by the United States armed forces.

NA-16
One for United States Army Air Corps (USAAC) (trials) developed into NA-18 and BT-9 series.
powered by Wright R-975 Whirlwind

When the North American NA-16 was first conceived, five different roles were intended for the design, designated NA-16-1 thru NA-16-5:[16]

NA-16-1
General purpose two-seat aircraft - which became the Harvard I[17]
NA-16-2
Two-seat fighter - produced under licence in Australia as the CAC Wirraway.[18]
NA-16-3
Two-seat light attack bomber. The first aircraft in this category was the retractable gear NA-26[19] which evolved into the NA-36 (BC-1). The fabric-covered fuselage was replaced by an all-metal monocoque to create the NA-44,[20] which provided the basis for a line of light attack bombers whose improvements would result in the AT-6.[21]
NA-16-4
Advanced trainer - became the BT-9 for the USAAC and which provided the bulk of early production. The improvement of the BT-9 with a longer metal skinned fuselage as on the NA-44 would create the NA-64 (Yale) and improved wings would result in the BT-14.
NA-16-5
Single seat fighter - although this designation was never used, it became the NA-50 for Chile, and later the NA-68, which saw limited USAAF service as the P-64.[22]
BT-9 (NA-19)
42 built for USAAC - Minor changes from NA-18, new canopy
powered by Wright R-975 Whirlwind
BT-9A (NA-19A)
40 built for USAAC - Armed BT-9 with one cowl gun, one rear flexible gun and modified canopy.
powered by Wright R-975 Whirlwind
NA-16-2H (NA-20)
One built for trials, sold to Honduras (FAH)
powered by Wright R-975 Whirlwind
NA-22
One built for USAAC trials but rejected as severely underpowered. Open cockpits as per early NA-16 and Townend ring on engine.
powered by Wright R-760 Whirlwind
BT-9B (NA-23)
117 built for USAAC - Unarmed with fixed rear on canopy.
powered by Wright R-975 Whirlwind
BT-9D (NA-23)
One modified BT-9B for USAAC - BT-14 prototype with new outer wings, Harvard type canopy, lengthened fabric covered fuselage, triangular rudder and detail alterations.
powered by Pratt & Whitney R-985 Wasp Junior
NA-16-3 Basic Combat demonstrator (NA-26)
One armed demonstrator and the first variant with retractable undercarriage, eventually sold to RCAF who modified it with Yale and Harvard parts.
powered by Pratt & Whitney R-1340 Wasp
NA-16-2H (NA-27)
One armed demonstrator sold to Royal Netherlands Air Force - not the same as the previous NA-16-2H.
powered by Pratt & Whitney R-1340 Wasp
NJ-1 (NA-28)
40 built to US Navy specifications, up engined BT-9B as advanced trainer with fixed gear.
powered by Pratt & Whitney R-1340 Wasp
BT-9C (NA-29)
66 built for USAAC - BT-9A with minor changes.
powered by Wright R-975 Whirlwind
Y1BT-10 (NA-29)
One built for USAAC - BT-9 with larger engine, similar to USN NJ-1 but armed and detail differences in engine installation.
powered by Pratt & Whitney R-1340 Wasp
BT-10 (NA-30)
Cancelled production version of Y1BT-10 for USAAC
powered by Pratt & Whitney R-1340 Wasp
NA-16-4M (NA-31)
138 built for Sweden's Flygvapnet as Sk 14/Sk 14A. Sk 14N trialled nosewheel for SAAB 21.
powered by Wright R-975 Whirlwind (Sk 14) or Piaggio P VIIc (Sk 14A)
NA-16-1A (NA-32)
One built for Royal Australian Air Force but rejected in favour of NA-16-2K, fixed landing gear, similar to Y1BT-10.
powered by Pratt & Whitney R-1340 Wasp
NA-16-2K (NA-33)
756 for Royal Australian Air Force in Australia with local improvements as CAC Wirraway
powered by Pratt & Whitney R-1340 Wasp
NA-16-4P (NA-34)
29 built for Argentina (Army Aviation) - 1st major export order (previous orders involved licence production).
powered by Wright R-975 Whirlwind
NA-16-4R (NA-37)
One built for Imperial Japanese Navy as a technology demonstrator KXA-1 with fixed u/c and three-blade prop.
powered by Pratt & Whitney R-985 Wasp Junior
NA-16-4 (NA-41)
35 built for China (RoCAF) - Fixed gear, fabric covered fuselage
powered by Wright R-975 Whirlwind
NA-16-2A (NA-42)
Two built for Honduras (FAH)
powered by Pratt & Whitney R-1340 Wasp
NA-16-1G (NA-43)
Intended for Brazil (Army) but order cancelled. Was to have been similar to BT-9C
powered by Wright R-975 Whirlwind
NA-16-1GV (NA-45)
Three built for Venezuela (FAV) similar to USAAC NA-36 BC-1 but with round rudder and bomb racks under wing center section.
powered by Pratt & Whitney R-1340 Wasp
NA-16-4 (NA-46)
12 built for Brazilian Navy
powered by Wright R-975 Whirlwind
NA-16-4RW (NA-47)
One built for Imperial Japanese Navy as a technology demonstrator KXA-2 similar to NA-16-4R but smaller engine.
powered by Wright R-975 Whirlwind
NA-16-3C (NA-48)
15 built for China (RoCAF) - Retractable undercarriage, fabric covered fuselage
powered by Pratt & Whitney R-1340 Wasp
NA-16-1E (NA-49/NA-61)
430 for Royal Air Force and Royal Canadian Air Force as the Harvard I with new canopy and square rudder. Also used by South Africa and Southern Rhodesia.
powered by Pratt & Whitney R-1340 Wasp
NA-16-4 (NA-56)
50 built for China (RoCAF) - Entirely new design with longer metal fuselage, triangular rudder and later T-6 style wing. Basically a BT-14 with the AT-6s R-1340 engine and canopy.
powered by Pratt & Whitney R-1340 Wasp
NA-57
230 improved NA-23s for France as NAA 57-P-2, most captured and used by Germany, some retained by Vichy France.
powered by Wright R-975 Whirlwind[23]
NA-16-3 (NA-71)
Three built for Venezuela (FAV)
powered by Pratt & Whitney R-1340 Wasp
I.Ae. D.L. 21
An Argentinian version incorporating the NA-16-1 fuselage with indiginously designed wings. Rejected in favour of the I.Ae. 22 DL, an original design from the Fabrica Militar de Aviones (FMA).

Operators[edit]

 Argentina
 Australia
 Brazil
 Canada
 China
 France
 Germany
 Honduras
 Japan
 Netherlands
 South Africa
 Southern Rhodesia
 Sweden
 United Kingdom
 United States
 Venezuela

Surviving aircraft[edit]

Specifications (NA-16)[edit]

General characteristics

  • Crew: two
  • Length: 27 ft 7 in (8.41 m)
  • Wingspan: 42 ft (13 m)
  • Empty weight: 3,078 lb (1,396 kg)
  • Powerplant: 1 × Wright R-975 Whirlwind air cooled radial, 400 hp (300 kW)
  • Propellers: 2-bladed Hamilton Standard

Performance

  • Maximum speed: 170 mph (274 km/h; 148 kn)
  • Range: 700 mi (608 nmi; 1,127 km)

See also[edit]

Related development
Aircraft of comparable role, configuration and era
Related lists


References[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Some sources list the NA-16 as having been used by the Argentine Air Force however it was with its predecessor, the Army Aviation Service which was dissolved in 1945 when the Air Force was created.

Citations[edit]

  1. ^ Hagedorn 1997, p. 4.
  2. ^ a b Hagedorn 1997, pp. 20–21.
  3. ^ Hagedorn 1997, p. 21.
  4. ^ Hagedorn 1997, pp. 6–7.
  5. ^ Hagedorn 1997, p. 12.
  6. ^ Hagedorn 1997, p. 53.
  7. ^ Hagedorn 1997, p. 61.
  8. ^ Hagedorn 1997, pp. 14, 19.
  9. ^ Hagedorn 1997, p. 19.
  10. ^ Hagedorn 1997, pp. 14–15.
  11. ^ a b Hagedorn 1997, p. 8.
  12. ^ Hagedorn 1997, p. 15.
  13. ^ a b Francillon, René J. The Royal Australian Air Force & Royal New Zealand Air Force in the Pacific. Aero Pictorials 3. California: Aero Publishers Inc, 1970. ISBN 978-0-8168-0308-8. Library of Congress Number 76-114412. 
  14. ^ a b c von Rauch, Georg and David L. Veres. "Argentina's Wooden Warriors". Air Classics (Challenge Publications), Volume 19, March 1983, pp. 14–21.
  15. ^ a b c Starkings, Peter. "From American Acorn to Japanese Oak". Arawasi (Asahi Process, Tokyo), Issue 7, 2007, pp. 26–31. Retrieved: 8 September 2011.
  16. ^ Hagedorn 1997, p. 7.
  17. ^ Hagedorn 1997, p. 41.
  18. ^ Smith 2000, p. 96.
  19. ^ Hagedorn 1997, pp. 20–22.
  20. ^ Hagedorn 1997, pp. 37–38.
  21. ^ Hagedorn 1997, p. 46.
  22. ^ Hagedorn 1997, pp. 41–42, 51.
  23. ^ Parker, Dana T. Building Victory: Aircraft Manufacturing in the Los Angeles Area in World War II, p. 89, Cypress, CA, 2013. ISBN 978-0-9897906-0-4.
  24. ^ "Search aircraft model: CA-1/CA-3/CA-7/CA-8/CA-16." CASA. Retrieved: 17 September 2013.
  25. ^ Hagedorn 1997, pp. 15–16.
  26. ^ Hagedorn 1997, pp. 22–23.
  27. ^ Hagedorn 1997, pp. 47–48.

Bibliography[edit]

  • Fletcher, David C. and Doug MacPhail. Harvard! the North American Trainers in Canada. San Josef, British Columbia, Canada: DCF Flying Books, 1990. ISBN 0-9693825-0-2.
  • Hagedorn, Dan. North American NA-16/AT-6/SNJ (WarbirdTech Volume 11). North Branch, Minnesota: Speciality Press, 1997. ISBN 0-933424-76-0.
  • MacPhail, Doug and Mikael Östberg. Triple Crown BT-9: The ASJA/Saab Sk 14, A Pictorial Essay (in English/Swedish). San Josef, British Columbia, Canada: DCF Flying Books, 2003.
  • Smith, Peter Charles. North American T-6: SNJ, Harvard and Wirraway. Ramsbury, Marlborough, Wiltshire, UK: The Crowood Press Ltd., 2000. ISBN 1-86126-382-1.
  • Starkings, Peter. From American Acorn to Japanese Oak - The tale of an unsung Japanese training aircraft with roots extending across the Pacific Ocean. Arawasi International, Asahi Process, September–December 2007, Issue 7.
  • von Rauch, Georg and David L. Veres. Argentina's Wooden Warriors. Air Classics, Challenge Publications, March 1983, Volume 19 Issue 3, pp. 14–21.

External links[edit]

Media related to North American NA-16 at Wikimedia Commons