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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 North American trainer aircraft that would number more than 17,000 examples.
Design and development
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 1 April 1935, and was submitted to the United States 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 & Whitney R-1340
, 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
, with production examples entering Air Corps service as the North American BT-9
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.
Two NA-16 trainers were supplied to the Imperial Japanese Navy Air Service
for evaluation, designated KXA1
, in 1938.