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North American NA-16: Wikis


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The North American NA-16 was the first trainer aircraft built by North American Aviation, Inc. and was the beginning of a line of North American trainer aircraft that would number more than 17,000 derivatives. The NA-16 was a single engine, low-wing monoplane with tandem seating in open cockpits and fixed landing gear. A Wright Whirlwind radial air-cooled engine of 400 hp powered the aircraft. While it was mostly of metal construction, the rear fuselage was fabric covered.

The NA-16 flew for the first time on April 1, 1935 and was submitted to the U.S. Army Air Corps for evaluation as a basic trainer. The Army accepted the trainer for production but with some significant changes. These changes included replacing the Wright engine with a Pratt and Whitney R-1340 engine and enclosing the cockpits as well as fairing the landing gear. The modified NA-16 was re-designated by North American as the NA-18.

In Australia, the Commonwealth Aircraft Corporation produced 755 units of a modified version of the NA-16 known there as the Wirraway between 1939 and 1946, some of the aircraft seeing active service against Japanese forces in Bougainville, Malaya and New Guinea.

Specifications (NA-16)

General characteristics

  • Crew: two
  • Length: 27 ft 7 in (8.41 m)
  • Wingspan: 42 ft (12.80 m)
  • Height: ft ( m)
  • Wing area: ft² ( m²)
  • Empty: 3,078 lb (1399 kg)
  • Loaded: lb ( kg)
  • Maximum takeoff: lb ( kg)
  • Powerplant: 1× Wright Whirlwind 400 shp (298.4 kW) each


  • Maximum speed: 170 mph (273.7 km/h)
  • Range: 700 miles (1127 km)
  • Service ceiling: ft ( m)
  • Rate of climb: ft/min ( m/min)
  • Wing loading: lb/ft² ( kg/m²)
  • Power/mass: 0. hp/lb (0. kW/kg)



See also

Related development

Comparable aircraft

Related lists


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