Air Enthusiast 1998-05
A.Pelletier - Northrop's Connection (1)
Northrop A-17As from 73rd AS peeling off. Note how the designation ‘AQ28’ is repeated on the port wing of the aircraft.
A line of A-17As belonging to 3rd Attack Group seen at Kelly Field. The aircraft are fitted with smoke dispensers.
A Northrop A-17 in aluminium finish in 1941. As the tail designator indicates, this one belonged to the 45th Air Base Squadron. Noteworthy are the anti-glare panel and the propeller blades painted matt black on the reverse.
An A-17 was operated by NACA to investigate the characteristics of laminar flow airfoil sections. During tests, the aircraft retained its original 90th AS markings.
The first engine cowling experiment conducted by NACA with A-17A 36-184. Needless to say that this cowling resulted in excessive engine temperatures.
A-17A 36-169 equipped with smoke generator pods under the wings. Intended to interfere with anti-aircraft fire, the smoke screens laid by the A-17s proved to be of little effect during manoeuvres.
From March 1941, the surviving A-17s began to be painted in olive drab and neutral grey camouflage. This one belonged to the Sacramento Air Depot.
An A-17 formation flying over March Field in 1938.
A Northrop A-17 carrying the Army’s Command and Staff School Insignia. The wheel and cowling chequerboards are blue and yellow. Note that the aircraft has no gunsight.
The Northrop factory with several A-17s awaiting delivery to the Army Air Corps on June 6, 1936.
Photographed during a stopover at Felts Field, Spokane, Washington, on March 11, 1943, A-17 35-121. Note that wheel trousers had been deleted causing potential confusion with an A-17A.
A-17A 36-184 after modification. Known as the ‘Nose-blower Northrop this aircraft had a spinner with a built-in fan. Results were encouraging but the modification was not introduced on production aircraft.
A-17AS flown by Major General Westover. Note ‘1’ and two stars on the tail. Arnold’s aircraft had one star and was number ‘2’. The modified canopy is clearly visible
The Northrop Model 2F featured a semi-retractable landing gear and a revised cockpit arrangement. This aircraft later became the first A-17.
Northrop A-17A. Key to sectional illustration: 1 - 825hp (615kW) Pratt & Whitney R1535-13. 2 - Oil tank. 3 - Instruments panel. 4 - Rudder pedals. 5 - Engine controls. 6 - Safety harness. 7 - Radio. 8 - Plotting desk. 9 - Engine controls. 10 - Machine gun travel ring. 11 - 0.30 cal flexible machine-gun. 12 - Tail navigation light. 13 - Stainless steel exhaust collector. 14 - Oil cooling radiator. 15 - Engine mount. 16 - Firewall. 17 - Retracting gear crank. 18 - Seat adjustment crank. 19 - Fuel tank. 20 - Rudder pedals. 21 - Detachable joystick. 22 - Safety harness. 23 - Sliding and folding gunner’s seat. 24 - Elevator control pulley. 25 - Rudder control cable. 26 - Elevator control horn. 27 - Tailwheel. 28 - Rudder control horn.
Northrop A-17A.
The YA-13 was re-engined with a Pratt & Whitney R-1830 Twin Wasp and redesignated XA-16.
The Gamma Model 2E was the export variant of the Model 2C. Several of them were purchased by China. Note the ventral gunner station.
After testing the Model 2C, the Air Corps suggested some changes, including a revised tail assembly. The aircraft was then purchased and designated YA-13.