North American NA-16

North American NA-16
Role Trainer
Manufacturer North American Aviation
First flight 1 April 1935
Primary user United States Army Air Corps
Developed into North American BT-9
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 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 (NA-19).

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 and KXA2, in 1938.

Specifications (NA-16)

General characteristics

  • Crew: 2
  • 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 , 400 hp (300 kW)


  • Maximum speed: 170 mph (270 km/h; 150 kn)
  • Range: 700 mi (608 nmi; 1,127 km)

See also

Related development
Aircraft of comparable role, configuration and era

Related lists


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