The Northrop BT was a two seat, single engine, monoplane, dive bomber built by the Northrop Corporation for the United States Navy. At the time Northrop was a subsidiary of the Douglas Aircraft Company. The design of the initial version began in 1935. A 700 hp Pratt and Whitney XR-1535-66 Twin Wasp Jr. double row, radial air-cooled engine powered the aircraft. The aircraft had slotted flaps and a landing gear that partially retracted. The next iteration of the BT, designated the XBT-1 was equipped with a 750 hp R-1535 engine. This aircraft was followed in 1936 by the BT-1 that was powered by an 825 hp Pratt and Whitney R-1535-94 engine. One of the BT-1 aircraft was modified with a fixed tricycle landing gear and was the first such aircraft to land on an aircraft carrier. The U.S. Navy placed an order for 54 BT-1s in 1936 with the aircraft entering service during 1938. The BT-1s served on the USS Yorktown and USS Enterprise. The type was not a success in service due to poor handling characteristics, especially at low speeds,"a fatal flaw in a carrier based aircraft." It was also prone to unexpected rolls and a number of aircraft were lost in crashes.
Despite its shortcomings, the BT-1 led the way to its successor, the SBD Dauntless, which wrote itself into the pages of the US Navy's history during the desperate, and decisive, battles of 1942 and 1943 which took place in the Pacific.
Buy Northrop BT-1 book by Phil Listermann from Australia's Online Bookstore, Boomerang Books.
(240mm x 170mm x 2mm)
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