The Info List - North American Aviation

North American Aviation
North American Aviation
(NAA) was a major American aerospace manufacturer, responsible for a number of historic aircraft, including the T-6 Texan trainer, the P-51 Mustang fighter, the B-25 Mitchell bomber, the F-86 Sabre jet fighter, the X-15 rocket plane, and the XB-70, as well as Apollo Command and Service Module, the second stage of the Saturn V
Saturn V
rocket, the Space Shuttle
Space Shuttle
orbiter and the B-1 Lancer. Through a series of mergers and sales, North American Aviation
North American Aviation
became part of North American Rockwell, which later became Rockwell International and is now part of Boeing.


1 History

1.1 Early years 1.2 World War II 1.3 Post-war years 1.4 Nuclear development 1.5 Navigation and guidance, radar, and data systems 1.6 Space program 1.7 Merger
and acquisition

2 List of aircraft manufactured 3 Manned spacecraft 4 Missiles and rockets 5 Unmanned aerial vehicles 6 See also 7 References

7.1 Notes 7.2 Bibliography

8 External links

History[edit] Early years[edit] Clement Melville Keys founded North American on December 6, 1928, as a holding company that bought and sold interests in various airlines and aviation-related companies. However, the Air Mail Act of 1934
Air Mail Act of 1934
forced the breakup of such holding companies. North American became a manufacturing company, run by James H. "Dutch" Kindelberger, who had been recruited from Douglas Aircraft Company. NAA did retain ownership of Eastern Air Lines
Eastern Air Lines
until 1938.[1] General Motors
General Motors
Corporation took a controlling interest in NAA and merged it with its general aviation division in 1933, but retained the name North American Aviation.[2] Kindelberger moved the company's operations from Dundalk, Maryland
Dundalk, Maryland
to Los Angeles, California, which allowed flying year-round, and decided to focus on training aircraft, on the theory that it would be easier than trying to compete with established companies on larger projects. Its first planes were the GA-15 observation plane and the GA-16 trainer, followed by the O-47 and BT-9, also called the GA-16.[1] World War II[edit]

The North American P-51D-5-NA Mustang

The BC-1 of 1937 was North American's first combat aircraft; it was based on the GA-16.[1] In 1940, like other manufacturers, North American started gearing up for war, opening factories in Columbus, Ohio, Dallas, Texas, and Kansas City, Kansas.[1] North American ranked eleventh among United States
United States
corporations in the value of wartime production contracts.[3]

B-25 Mitchell
B-25 Mitchell
bomber production line at the North American Aviation plant, Inglewood, California, October 1942. The plane's outer wings have yet to be added, which enables the two side-by-side assembly lines to be closer together. The outer wings will be attached outdoors, in the "sunshine" assembly line.[4]

North American's follow-on to the BT-9 was the T-6 Texan trainer, of which 17,000 were built, making it the most widely used trainer ever. The twin-engine B-25 Mitchell
B-25 Mitchell
bomber achieved fame in the Doolittle Raid and was used in all combat theaters of operation. The P-51 Mustang was initially produced for Britain as an alternative to the Curtiss P-40 Warhawk, which North American had declined to produce under licence.[5][6] The derivative A-36 Apache was developed as a ground attack aircraft and dive bomber. This was done, in part, to keep the airframe in production as the US Army Air Corps had not yet decided to purchase the type as a fighter. A suggestion by the RAF that North American switch the P-51's powerplant from its original Allison engine to the Rolls-Royce Merlin engine may have been one of the most significant events in WWII aviation, as it transformed the P-51 into what many consider to be the best American fighter of the war.[1][7][8][9] Post-war years[edit] Post-war, North American's employment dropped from a high of 91,000 to 5,000 in 1946. On V-J Day, North American had orders from the U.S. government for 8,000 aircraft. A few months later, that had dropped to 24.[1] Two years later in 1948, General Motors
General Motors
divested NAA as a public company. Nevertheless, NAA continued with new designs, including the T-28 Trojan
T-28 Trojan
trainer and attack aircraft, the odd-looking F-82 Twin Mustang, B-45 Tornado jet bomber, the FJ Fury fighter, AJ Savage, the revolutionary XB-70 Valkyrie Mach-3 strategic bomber, Shrike Commander, and T-39 Sabreliner business jet.

The North American XB-70 Valkyrie

The Columbus, Ohio
Columbus, Ohio
division of North American Aviation
North American Aviation
was instrumental in the exclusive development and production of the A-5 Vigilante, an advanced high speed bomber that would see significant use as a naval reconnaissance aircraft during the Vietnam War, the OV-10 Bronco, the first aircraft specifically designed for forward air control (FAC), and counter-insurgency (COIN) duties, and the T-2 Buckeye Naval trainer, which would serve from the late 1950s until 2008 and be flown in training by virtually every Naval Aviator
Naval Aviator
and Naval Flight Officer
Naval Flight Officer
in the US Navy
US Navy
and US Marine Corps
US Marine Corps
for four decades. The Buckeye's name would be an acknowledgment to the state tree of Ohio, as well as the mascot of Ohio
State University. The North American F-86 Sabre
North American F-86 Sabre
started out as a redesigned Fury and achieved fame shooting down MiGs in the Korean War. Over 9,000 F-86s were produced. Its successor, the North American F-100 Super Sabre, was also popular. Some 6,656 F-86s were produced in the United States, the most postwar military aircraft in the West, as well as another 2,500 elsewhere. To accommodate its Sabre production, North American opened facilities in a former Curtiss-Wright plant in Columbus, Ohio. It also moved into a former Consolidated-Vultee Aircraft plant at Downey, California, and in 1948, built a new plant at Downey. By the end of 1952, North American sales topped $315 million. Employment at the Columbus plant grew from 1,600 in 1950 to 18,000 in 1952.[1] The cancellation of the F-107 and F-108 programs in the late 1950s, as well as the cancellation of the Navaho intercontinental cruise missile program, was a blow to North American from which it never fully recovered. Nuclear development[edit] Atomics International
Atomics International
was a division of North American Aviation
North American Aviation
which began as the Atomic Energy Research Department at the Downey plant in 1948. In 1955, the department was renamed Atomics International
Atomics International
and engaged principally in the early development of nuclear technology and nuclear reactors for both commercial and government applications. Atomics International
Atomics International
was responsible for a number of accomplishments relating to nuclear energy: design, construction and operation of the first nuclear reactor in California (a small aqueous homogeneous reactor located at the NAA Downey plant),[10] the first nuclear reactor to produce power for a commercial power grid in the United States (the Sodium Reactor Experiment
Sodium Reactor Experiment
located at the Santa Susana Field Laboratory)[11] and the first nuclear reactor launched into outer space by the United States
United States
(the SNAP-10A).[12] As overall interest in nuclear power declined, Atomics International
Atomics International
transitioned to non-nuclear energy-related projects such as coal gasification and gradually ceased designing and testing nuclear reactors. Atomics International was eventually merged with the Rocketdyne
division in 1978.[13] Navigation and guidance, radar, and data systems[edit] Autonetics began in 1945 at North American's Technical Research Laboratory, a small unit in the Los Angeles Division's engineering department based in Downey, California. The evolution of the Navaho missile program resulted in the establishment of Autonetics as a separate division of North American Aviation
North American Aviation
in 1955, first located in Downey, later moving to Anaheim, California
Anaheim, California
in 1963. The division was involved in the development of guidance systems for the Minuteman ballistic missile system. Space program[edit]

The North American Apollo spacecraft
Apollo spacecraft
being prepared for the Apollo 7 mission

In 1955, the rocket engine operations were spun off into a separate division as Rocketdyne. This division furnished engines for the Redstone, Jupiter, Thor, Delta, and Atlas missiles, and for NASA's Saturn family of launch vehicles. North American designed and built the airframe for the X-15, a rocket-powered aircraft that first flew in 1959. In 1959, North American built the first of several Little Joe boosters used to test the launch escape system for the Project Mercury spacecraft. In 1960, the new CEO Lee Atwood decided to focus on the space program, and the company became the prime contractor for the Apollo Command/Service Module, a larger Little Joe II
Little Joe II
rocket to test Apollo's launch escape system, and the S-II
second stage of the Saturn V. Merger
and acquisition[edit] The fatal Apollo 1
Apollo 1
fire in January 1967 was partly blamed on the company. In March, it merged with Rockwell-Standard, and the merged company became known as North American Rockwell.[14] Within two years the new company was studying concepts for the Space Shuttle, and won the orbiter contract in 1972.[15] In 1973, the company changed its name again to Rockwell International
Rockwell International
and named its aircraft division North American Aircraft Operations.[16]

The North American Rockwell
North American Rockwell
Space Shuttle
Space Shuttle
orbiter Atlantis landing at Kennedy Space Center

Rockwell International's defense and space divisions (including the North American Aviation
North American Aviation
divisions Autonetics and Rocketdyne) were sold to Boeing
in December 1996. Initially called Boeing
North American, these groups were integrated with Boeing's Defense division. Rocketdyne
was eventually sold by Boeing
to UTC Pratt & Whitney in 2005. UTC later sold Rocketdyne
to Aerojet (GenCorp) in 2013.

List of aircraft manufactured[edit]

North American A-5 Vigilante North American A-27 North American A-36 Apache North American AJ Savage B-1 Lancer North American B-25 Mitchell North American B-45 Tornado North American BT-9 North American F-82 Twin Mustang North American F-86 Sabre

North American F-86D Sabre

North American F-100 Super Sabre North American F-107 North American FJ-1 Fury

North American FJ-2/-3 Fury North American FJ-4 Fury

L-17 Navion North American NA-16 North American NA-35 North American O-47 North American Rockwell
North American Rockwell
OV-10 Bronco North American P-51 Mustang

North American P-51 variants

North American P-64 North American T-2 Buckeye North American T-6 Texan

North American T-6 Texan
North American T-6 Texan

North American T-28 Trojan North American Sabreliner North American X-10 North American X-15 North American XB-21 North American XB-28 North American XB-70 Valkyrie North American XF-108 Rapier North American YF-93 North American XA2J Super Savage North American XSN2J

Manned spacecraft[edit]

Apollo Command/Service Module North American DC-3 Skylab Rescue

Missiles and rockets[edit]

AGM-28 Hound Dog AGM-64 Hornet RTV-A-3 NATIV SM-64 Navaho S-II
second stage of the Saturn V
Saturn V
launch vehicle Little Joe (rocket) Little Joe II

Unmanned aerial vehicles[edit]

North American MQM-42
North American MQM-42

See also[edit]

Norris J. Nelson, Los Angeles City Council member, commenting on 1941 North American strike

References[edit] Notes[edit]

^ a b c d e f g Rumerman. Judy. "North American Aviation." United States Centennial of Flight Commission, 2003. ^ Pound, Arthur. "The Turning Wheel; the Story of General Motors Through Twenty-five Years, 1908-1933" Chapter XXIII - General Motors in Aviation ^ Peck and Scherer 1962, p. 619. ^ Parker 2013, pp. 2, 78–79. ^ Herman 2012, p. 88. ^ Parker 2013, pp. 77, 90–92. ^ Herman 2012, pp. 88, 203. ^ Parker 2013, pp. 77–92. ^ Borth 1945, p. 244. ^ "Radiation survey of the Downey Facility." Archived 2010-05-27 at the Wayback Machine. The Boeing
Company, March 1, 2001, p. 7. Retrieved: January 1, 2010. ^ "California Nuclear Industry." U.S. Energy Information Agency. ^ Voss, Susan "SNAP Reactor Overview (AFWL-TN-84-14)". U.S. Air Force Weapons Laboratory, Kirtland AFB, New Mexico, August 1984, p. 57. ^ " Santa Susana Field Laboratory
Santa Susana Field Laboratory
Area IV, Historical Site Assessment." Archived 2010-01-28 at the Wayback Machine. Sapere and Boeing, May 2005 p. 2–1. Retrieved: January 1, 2010. ^ "Rockwell". GlobalSecurity.org. Global Security. Retrieved 2010-08-30. Rockwell and aerospace giant North American Aviation merged in 1967 to form Rockwell North American.  ^ Heppenheimer, T. A. (1998). The Space Shuttle
Space Shuttle
Decision. NASA. pp. 429–432.  ^ " Rockwell International
Rockwell International
... Building the Space Shuttle: History, Higher, Faster, Farther: 1970-1986". Boeing
Corporation, 2012. Retrieved: April 24, 2012. Archived October 11, 2007, at the Wayback Machine.


Borth, Christy. Masters of Mass Production. Indianapolis, Indiana: Bobbs-Merrill Co., 1945. Fletcher, David and Doug MacPhail. Harvard! The North American Trainers in Canada. Dundas, Ontario, Canada: DCF Flying Books,1990. ISBN 0-9693825-0-2. Hagedorn, Dan. North American NA-16/AT-6/SNJ. North Branch, Minnesota: Specialty Press, 1997. ISBN 0-933424-84-1 Herman, Arthur. Freedom's Forge: How American Business Produced Victory in World War II. New York: Random House, 2012. ISBN 978-1-4000-6964-4. Parker, Dana T. Building Victory: Aircraft Manufacturing in the Los Angeles Area in World War II. Cypress, California: Dana T. Parker Books, 2013. ISBN 978-0-9897906-0-4. Pattillo, Donald M. Pushing the Envelope: The American Aircraft Industry. Ann Arbor, Michigan: The University of Michigan Press, 1998. Peck, Merton J. and Frederic M. Scherer. The Weapons Acquisition Process: An Economic Analysis. Boston: Harvard Business School, 1962.

External links[edit]

Wikimedia Commons has media related to North American Aviation.

Boeing.com: North American Aviation
North American Aviation
history Aerospace
Legacy Foundation AeroWeb: List of NAA aircraft ACME, NAA history: documents and photographs archive. Autonetics division Bright, Charles D., The Jet Makers: The Aerospace
Industry From 1945 to 1972, Lawrence, Kansas: The Regents Press of Kansas, 1978.

v t e

North American Aviation
North American Aviation
and North American Aviation
North American Aviation
division of Rockwell International
Rockwell International

Manufacturer "Charge Number"

NA-15 NA-16 NA-17 NA-18 NA-19 NA-20 NA-21 NA-22 NA-23 NA-24 NA-25 NA-26 NA-27 NA-28 NA-29 NA-30 NA-31 NA-32 NA-33 NA-34 NA-35 NA-36 NA-37 NA-38 NA-39 NA-40 NA-41 NA-42 NA-43 NA-44 NA-45 NA-46 NA-47 NA-48 NA-49 NA-50 NA-51 NA-52 NA-53 NA-54 NA-55 NA-56 NA-57 NA-58 NA-59 NA-60 NA-61 NA-62 NA-63 NA-64 NA-65 NA-66 NA-67 NA-68 NA-69 NA-70 NA-71 NA-72 NA-73 NA-74 NA-75 NA-76 NA-77 NA-78 NA-79 NA-80 NA-81 NA-82 NA-83 NA-84 NA-85 NA-86 NA-87 NA-88 NA-89 NA-90 NA-91 NA-92 NA-93 NA-94 NA-95 NA-96 NA-97 NA-98 NA-99 NA-100 NA-101 NA-102 NA-103 NA-104 NA-105 NA-106 NA-107 NA-108 NA-109 NA-110 NA-111 NA-112 NA-113 NA-114 NA-115 NA-116 NA-117 NA-118 NA-119 NA-120 NA-121 NA-122 NA-123 NA-124 NA-125 NA-126 NA-127 NA-128 NA-129 NA-130 NA-131 NA-132 NA-133 NA-134 NA-135 NA-136 NA-137 NA-138 NA-139 NA-140 NA-141 NA-142 NA-143 NA-144 NA-145 NA-146 NA-147 NA-148 NA-149 NA-150 NA-151 NA-152 NA-153 NA-154 NA-155 NA-156 NA-157 NA-158 NA-159 NA-160 NA-161 NA-162 NA-163 NA-164 NA-165 NA-166 NA-167 NA-168 NA-169 NA-170 NA-171 NA-172 NA-173 NA-174 NA-175 NA-176 NA-177 NA-178 NA-179 NA-180 NA-181 NA-182 NA-183 NA-184 NA-185 NA-186 NA-187 NA-188 NA-189 NA-190 NA-191 NA-192 NA-193 NA-194 NA-195 NA-196 NA-197 NA-198 NA-199 NA-200 NA-201 NA-202 NA-203 NA-204 NA-205 NA-206 NA-207 NA-208 NA-209 NA-210 NA-211 NA-212 NA-213 NA-214 NA-215 NA-216 NA-217 NA-218 NA-219 NA-220 NA-221 NA-222 NA-223 NA-224 NA-225 NA-226 NA-227 NA-228 NA-229 NA-230 NA-231 NA-232 NA-233 NA-234 NA-235 NA-236 NA-237 NA-238 NA-239 NA-240 NA-241 NA-242 NA-243 NA-244 NA-245 NA-246 NA-247 NA-248 NA-249 NA-250 NA-251 NA-252 NA-253 NA-254 NA-255 NA-256 NA-257 NA-258 NA-259 NA-260 NA-261 NA-262 NA-263 NA-264 NA-265 NA-266 NA-267 NA-268 NA-269 NA-270 NA-271 NA-272 NA-273 NA-274 NA-275 NA-276 NA-277 NA-278 NA-279 NA-280 NA-281 NA-282 NA-283 NA-284 NA-285 NA-286 NA-287 NA-288 NA-289 NA-290 NA-291 NA-292 NA-293 NA-294 NA-295 NA-296 NA-297 NA-298 NA-299 NA-300 NA-301 NA-302 NA-303 NA-304 NA-305 NA-306 NA-307 NA-308 NA-309 NA-310 NA-311 NA-312 NA-313 NA-314 NA-315 NA-316 NA-317 NA-318 NA-319 NA-320 NA-321 NA-322 NA-323 NA-324 NA-325 NA-326 NA-327 NA-328 NA-329 NA-330 NA-331 NA-332 NA-333 NA-334 NA-335 NA-336 NA-337 NA-338 NA-339 NA-340 NA-341 NA-342 NA-343 NA-344 NA-345 NA-346 NA-347 NA-348 NA-349 NA-350 NA-351 NA-352 NA-353 NA-354 NA-355 NA-356 NA-357 NA-358 NA-359 NA-360 NA-361 NA-362 NA-363 NA-364 NA-365 NA-366 NA-367 NA-368 NA-369 NA-370 NA-371 NA-372 NA-373 NA-374 NA-375 NA-376 NA-377 NA-378 NA-379 NA-380 NA-381 NA-382 NA-383 NA-384 NA-385 NA-386 NA-387 NA-388 NA-389 NA-390 NA-391 NA-392 NA-393 NA-394 NA-395 NA-396 NA-397 NA-398 NA-399 NA-400 NA-401 NA-402 NA-403 NA-404 NA-405 NA-406 NA-407 NA-420 NA-430 NA-431 D481 NA-704

By role


P-51 Mustang P-64 F-82 Twin Mustang F-86/F-86D Sabre YF-93 F-100 Super Sabre F-107 XF-108 Rapier FJ-1 FJ-2/3 Fury FJ-4 Fury F-1 XFV-12


XB-21 B-25 Mitchell XB-28 Dragon B-45 Tornado B-64 XB-70 Valkyrie B-1 Lancer


A-27 A-36 Apache AJ Savage XA2J Super Savage A3J A-2 A-5 Vigilante


O-47 L-17 OV-10 Bronco


NA-16 NA-35 BT-9 BT-10 BT-14 Yale BC-1 Harvard BC-2 AT-6 Texan T-6 Texan NJ-1 SNJ XSN2J T2J T3J T-28 Trojan T-39 T-2 Buckeye Ranger 2000






X-10 X-15 X-30 X-31 HiMAT


SSM-N-4 SM-64 GAM-77 AGM-28 AGM-53


Apollo CSM DC-3 Space Shuttle

By name

Apache Bronco Buckeye Fury Harvard HiMAT Hound Dog Invader Lancer Mitchell Mustang Navaho Navion Ranger Rapier Redhead Roadrunner Sabre Sabre Dog Sabreliner Savage Super Sabre Super Savage Taurus Texan Tornado Torito Trojan Twin Mustang Valkyrie Vigilante Yale

See also: Aero Commander

v t e

Rockwell International


Lynde Bradley Arthur A. Collins Clayton M. Jones Willard Rockwell


Draper Corporation

Northrop Loom

Rockwell Automation


Rockwell Collins

Air Routing International AN/ART-13 ARINC B/E Aerospace Collins 207B-1 Transmitter R-390A


Admiral Radio and TV Allen-Bradley
Clock Tower Evans & Sutherland North American Aviation

Atomics International

Rocketdyne Rockwell S