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The Northrop A-17, a development of the Northrop Gamma 2F was a two seat, single engine, monoplane, attack bomber built in 1935 by the Northrop Corporation for the US Army Air Corps.
The A-17 entered service in February 1936, and proved a reliable and popular aircraft. However, in 1938, the Air Corps decided that attack aircraft should be multi-engined, rendering the A-17 surplus to requirements.
In 1939, Douglas and Northrop merged as one company with Douglas as the major shareholder, which explains the apparent illogicality of Douglas being responsible for the development of a Northrop design.
From 14 December 1941, A-17s were used for coastal patrols by the 59th Bombardment Squadron (Light) on the Pacific side of the Panama Canal.
The last remaining A-17s, used as utility aircraft, were retired from USAAF service in 1944.
The Douglas A-33 (Model 8A) was an updated version of the Northrop A-17 for the export market, with a more powerful engine and increased bomb load.
Model 8A-1 was an export version for Sweden. It had a fixed undercarriage. Two Douglas built prototypes (Swedish designation B 5A), was followed by 63 licensed built (by ASJA) B 5B aircraft powered by 920 hp (686 kW) Bristol Mercury XXIV engine; 31 similar B 5C aircraft were built by SAAB.
Model 8A-3N was an export version of A-17A for Netherlands. Powered by 1,100 hp (820 kW) Pratt & Whitney R-1830 Twin Wasp engine; 18 built.
| Date: Fri November 25, 2011
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Keywords: northrop a17
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