Curtiss-Wright CW-25 / AT-9 Jeep
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Curtiss-Wright CW-25 / AT-9 Jeep

In 1940, with Europe already at war, the US Army Air Corps knew that it was essential to begin preparations for the very real possibility that, in the not too distant future, the United States of America might become involved. As a part of this general thinking the US Army had already begun evaluation of the Cessna T-50 as an 'off-the-shelf' twin-engined trainer which would prove suitable for the transition of a pilot qualified on single-engined aircraft to a twin-engined aircraft and its very different handling technique. Procured as the AT-8, Cessna's T-50 was built in large numbers.

For the more specific transition to a 'high-performance' twin-engine bomber it. was considered that something less stable than the T-50 was needed. However, Curtiss-Wright had anticipated this requirement with the design of the Curtiss-Wright CW-25, a twin-engined pilot transition trainer which had the take-off and landing characteristics of a light bomber aircraft. The CW-25 was of low-wing cantilever monoplane configuration, provided with retractable tail-wheel landing gear and powered by two Lycoming R-680-9 radial engines. The single prototype acquired for evaluation had a welded steel-tube fuselage structure with the wings, fuselage and tail unit fabric-covered.

Evaluation proving satisfactory, the type was ordered into production under the designation AT-9, and name Jeep. The production examples differing from the prototype by being of all-metal construction. A total of 491 AT-9s was produced and these were followed into service by 300 generally similar AT-9A aircraft. They remained in use for a comparatively short time, for the USA's involvement in World War II in late 1941 resulted in the early development of far more effective training aircraft.

Curtiss-Wright CW-25 / AT-9 JeepA three-view drawing (1024 x 1444)

 ENGINE2 x 220kW Avco Lycoming R-680-9 radial piston engines
    Take-off weight2722 kg6001 lb
    Empty weight2087 kg4601 lb
    Wingspan12.29 m40 ft 4 in
    Length9.65 m32 ft 8 in
    Height3.00 m10 ft 10 in
    Wing area21.65 m2233.04 sq ft
    Max. speed317 km/h197 mph
    Cruise speed282 km/h175 mph
    Range1207 km750 miles

Comments1-20 21-40
Vincent Homer Jr., 08.10.2017

My Dad, Vincent H. Homer was an instructor at Blythville in AT-9s. Several responses have noted the steep approach angle. Dad talked about landing at a Navy field in an AT-9 and the field commander berated him for the "hot dog" landing approach so Dad invited him, he was a pilot, to go up for a flight. After a couple of landings the Navy guy told Dad he wouldn't fly in an AT-9 again. Dad said you were literally standing on the rudder pedals during a power off descent. I'd still like a set of RC plans for an AT-9 if anyone has them.

Robertt Wegne r 42-g, 10.04.2017

Graduated from AT-9's At Victorville, CA. in June 1941. When we had 200 hours total cade time we were made 2nd Lts, and I was assigned to B-25s fore one flight and then reassigned to B-24s, then onto the SWPA and into combat by Nov 1942.I liked
the AT-9. We did lose 1 AT-9 on a night Take-off.

Bruce Byers, 09.04.2016

April 8, 2016

My father Ed Byers, Class 42-A at Ellington Field near Houston Texas, trained in AT-9s beginning in late January 1942. In his letters to his parents he wrote that after checking out in the Cessna AT-17 and the Beechcraft AT-7, his flight of instructors concentrated on the AT-9. The other two advanced transitional trainers were moved to other airfields. I have several photographs of my father standing near and in AT-9s. He wrote that they were the “hottest” of the advanced trainers and certainly more demanding to fly. He called the AT-17 “Bobcat” a slow, lumbering, wood and metal boxcar with controls that demanded more muscle to fly. Slow flying and slow landing. Even so, more than 4,000 AT-17s and variations were built and stayed in service long after the war. The 800 odd AT-9s hardly survived the war and like the Martin B-26s were soon scrapped.

Dad eventually graduated from flying AT-9s to pilot instructor in Martin B-26s at Laughlin Field, Del Rio, Texas. Photos of the AT-9 on the ground and in flight depict it as a beautiful, streamlined aircraft. Dad did not mention having any problems with engine trouble. He did write that it required a faster landing speed and that one had to fly it right down to the runway. If airspeed fell below 90 mph it would sink like a rock. Its wingspan was less than that of an AT-6.

He was in the group of pilot instructors at Laughlin Field that had to contend with the earlier version of the B-26 before it had its wings lengthened and its vertical stabilizer increased in height. Once that was done, the aircraft was more forgiving during landings. Still, it was a very demanding medium bomber.

I would welcome any more anecdotes and information about AT-9 experiences since I am currently working on a manuscript about my father’s aviation training and instructor experiences in Texas between 1941 and 1945. Email address:

Earl Pilgrim, 15.03.2015

We were class of 43 G assigned to single engine fighter from Marana az. We noted no single engine planes in the pattern as bused into the base . The driver said there were none . I was sure they had made a mistake wrong . At9 was a handful , and were pretty well worn out with lots of maintenance problems

Fritz Schuetzeberg, 25.12.2013

I got an E mail from someone working on restoring a A T 9.I lost the name,but refered him to Roger Freeman. I sent my manuals to Bob's aircraft documentation about 10 years ago and he may still have them. 3114 Yukon Ave. Costa Mesa CA. 92626-- 714 9798058.They were in a box about 2'sq.If you get this comment please e-mail me. I suspect this aircraft is the one at Pima.

Fred Charles, 07.07.2013

As a follow up - there were maintenance problems at times. On one night flight all light and communications went out. That was an almost blind landing. On last flight the right door popped loose -- it was a long slow decent timed perfectly to the field for landing. Handed the door to the Mechanic.

Fred Charles, 07.07.2013

I was at Douglas AAF and trained in the AT-9. Loved flying it. Sent off to New Guiana and thought we were to fly P-38's - ended up in C-47s. Had great fun doing acrobatics. Didn't receive further state side training..Learned to fly from the old pilots overseas.

Dennis Myers, 11.05.2013

My dad died in an AT-9 crash in July, 1944. He was station in Douglas, AZ, the crash occurred near Chloride AZ. Witness reports indicated they heard no engine noise. Don't know why they waited too long to get out of the plane - witness said the left door opened, flyer jumped out, but they were too low, chute didn't open right, he died in the fall. My dad went down with the plane - right door where he was apparently opened shortly before impact. This crash was researched quite a bit - let me know if you want any of the info I have found ( accident report, newspaper article, etc.

Seth Fuller, 20.09.2012

My Graddad was an instructor at an air base in southern Georgia and he instructed students in the AT9 Jeep. I wonder if any of you knew him. His name is James W. Fuller. I have a picture of him in front of some students standing in front of an AT9.


Seth Fuller, 20.09.2012

My Graddad was an instructor at an air base in southern Georgia and he instructed students in the AT9 Jeep. I wonder if any of you knew him. His name is James W. Fuller. I have a picture of him in front of some students standing in front of an AT9.


Debbie Kirk, 08.07.2012

According to documents I recently came across, my uncle, Charles Jones, was killed in a AT9 plane crash in Altus, Oklahoma June 14, 1944, 13 days before receiving his wings and commission. It was the last check ride flying low in a formation at 200 ft with his instructor, Lt RC Swanson, when they struck an air pocket and their plane dropped and hit high tension wires. Charles was killed instantly - Lt Swamson died 3 days later. According to his funeral record, 11 men were killed in 9 days in similar crashes and the plane was grounded. Would like to confirm the records I have are accurate.

Vincent Homer, 21.05.2012

I just read through the commenrts on the AT-9 and found some interesting coincidences. My dad was an instructor in AT-9 , I believe in Blythville. He told of losing an engine and barely making it back to the field, ruining the good engine in the process. One of the commenters mentions that his dad, Vincent Howard, flew ST-9s. My dad's name was Vincent Howard Homer.

Does anyone out there know of any RC plans for the AT-9? If so, let me know at

Harold C. Gibson, 16.05.2012

I instructed in AT-7, 8-9-10-17 B-10, B-12,B-18,B-25 at Barksdale, Mather,Luke ( special class for cadets going into P-38s)& Douglas. The AT-7 was good, but the AT-9 was the best of all.

De Hill, 22.03.2012

A couple of more things which were told to me by an old instructor I worked with, the late Harding H. Williams (Uncle Willie) Uncle Willie told me that the AT-9's were so difficult to fly that none were released for flyable sale. Some were given to aviation schools, and the others were scrapped.

Uncle Willie also told me that if you lost an engine on an AT-9, the other engine took you straight to the crash site!

They wouldn't fly on one engine.

joe, 19.02.2012


De Hill, 19.02.2012

Spartan School of Aeronautics (mechanics school section) obtained 3 AT-9's from surplus at the end of WW2. One was cut up and used for training aids, one was used in line maintenace training, and one was used as parts. The older instructors called them "Humpback Hawks".

They two survivors were given to the USAF Museum in the late 1970's-early 1980's. The USAF sent a C-130 down to spartan, demated the wings and tail feathers ,engines and flew them up to the museum. I was teaching Aircraft Mechanics courses at Spartan during the middle 1970's - early 1980's.

Jim Davis, 07.02.2012

I was one of 30 Class of 43J @ Moody Field, Valdosta Ga to train in AT-9 supposidly to go into P38. That did not happen. I remember a gunsight resticted forward visibility and a few were lost flying into ground during gunnery and we were supposed to be the last class in AT9 at Moody. A quick snap of the yoke could generate a high speed stall. The instructor told us if we had to bail out we had to open the doors at the same time. With one open the other door could not be opened at high speed?????

William Oldham, 11.11.2011

I goofed on the email address above. It is Thank you, Bill

William Oldham, 11.11.2011

I built a 60" model of the AT-9 about 25 years ago and flew it in control line competition about 25 years ago. I'm now drawing plans for one with a span of 80" at 2" per foot. I hope to detail it highly and put it in a museum someday. George Gobel was an AT-9 instructor at a base in Oklahoma during. The plane I did was T-58 which we've all seen photos of on the net. I think my model was wrong because it appears that the cowling on the plane had lightly colored rings around it. If anyone out there knows where that plane was based and could identify the color of the rings around the cowl, it would be greatly appreciated. Thank you, Bill

Edgar A Walsh Class 42-H, 23.02.2011

Iflew the AT-9 at Lubbuck,Texas ,early "42"Graduated Sept.6 same year.
It was a great airplane and fun to fly,after you reco
vered from your first power off gear down full flaps landing.Not to worry,if YOU looked thru the slotted wd.just above the regular windshield,the runway was waiting
for you,ONE WAY OR ANOTHER.Maintain air speed=110-120.
Best of Luck,

1-20 21-40

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