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North American L-17 Navion

With the drastic reduction in military aircraft production at the end of World War II, North American looked at building light aircraft for the civil market.  The prototype NA-143 Navion (for North American avion) first flew in 1946.

In 1947, the U.S. Air Force purchased 83 Navions as liaison aircraft and designated them the L-17.  Many were later transfered to the Army and redesignated the U-18 in 1962.

When military contracts started coming back in as the cold-war ramped up, North American sold the Navion program to Ryan.  Ryan built over 1,200 Navions--163 for the U.S. Air Force.

Specifications (L-17B) Designations
Type: Civil light aircraft/military liaison
Engine: one 185 hp (138 kW) Continental E-185-3 6-cylinder horizontally- opposed air-cooled piston engine
NA-143: North American designation
L-17: U.S. Air Force liaison version (before 1962)
QL-17: Unpiloted drone
U-18: U.S. military utility version (after 1962)
Related Pages Related Websites
More about North American Aviation
More about Ryan Aeronautical
The American Navion Society

page updated 10 February 2008



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Kenneth W Shanaberger 2000 - 2010