North American NA-40
|BOMBER||Virtual Aircraft Museum / USA / North American|
The NA-40 was North American's offering to a 1938 Air Corps request for a twin engine attack bomber. The all-metal plane had the relatively new tricycle landing gear and a narrow fuselage, seating the pilot and co-pilot in tandem. Provisions were made for a crew of five and 540kg of bombs. A fuel capacity of 1800 litres fed the two 1100hp Pratt & Whitney R-1830-S6C3-G Twin Wasp engines. Gross weight was 8850kg.
In January, 1939, the NA-40 was first flown, but the top speed of 425km/h was considered insufficient. A month later, as the NA-40-2, it again took to the air, but power was increased to 1,300hp per engine with a pair of Wright R-2600-A71 Cyclones. The new engines boosted the top speed to 460km/h, and the gross weight to 9500kg.
In March, the NA-40-2 was delivered to Wright Field for Air Corps testing. During this program, the plane showed outstanding performance characteristics, and up to seven further versions of the design were proposed. Unfortunately, the development of the NA-40 was halted when one of the test pilots lost control of the aircraft during a landing approach and, although the crew escaped, the single NA-40 prototype was destroyed by fire following the crash.
As an attack bomber, the NA-40 was to carry one 7.62mm M-2 machine gun in a rotating nose blister, one in the dorsal turret, and another firing through the rear floor. Two fixed 7.62mm's were planned for installation in each wing.
The NA-40 did not receive a military designation or serial number.