Northrop Gamma

Northrop Gamma

CountryUnited States

The Northrop Gamma was a single-engine all-metal monoplane cargo aircraft used in the 1930s. Towards the end of its service life, it was developed into the A-17 light bomber. The Gamma was a further development of the successful Northrop Alpha and shared its predecessor’s aerodynamic innovations with wing fillets and multicellular stressed-skin wing construction. Like late Alphas, the fixed landing gear was covered in distinctive aerodynamic spats, and the aircraft introduced a fully enclosed cockpit.

Source: Northrop Gamma on Wikipedia

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The Northrop Gamma was a remarkable aircraft that made significant contributions to aviation history in the 1930s. It was designed by Jack Northrop, who applied his innovative concepts of wing fillets and multicellular stressed-skin wing construction to create a sleek and sturdy monoplane. The Gamma had a fully enclosed cockpit and a fixed landing gear with aerodynamic spats. It was powered by a single radial engine that gave it a top speed of about 220 mph.
The Gamma was used by Trans World Airlines as a mail plane, but it also served as a flying laboratory and a record-breaking machine. Several famous pilots flew the Gamma, such as Frank Hawks, who crossed the United States from Los Angeles to New York in 13 hours and 26 minutes in 1933, and Howard Hughes, who improved on this time by flying west-east in 9 hours and 26 minutes in 1935. The most famous Gamma was the Polar Star, which was flown by Lincoln Ellsworth and Bernt Balchen over Antarctica in 1935.
The Gamma also had a military career, as it was developed into the Northrop A-17 light bomber. The A-17 had several improvements over the Gamma, such as retractable landing gear, dive brakes, bomb racks, and machine guns. The A-17 was used by several air forces around the world, including China and Spain. The Chinese Air Force deployed 25 Gamma 2Es against Japan during the Second Sino-Japanese War.
The Northrop Gamma was an important milestone in the development of all-metal monoplanes and paved the way for more advanced designs by Northrop Corporation.

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