Northrop A-17

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. The last remaining A-17s, used as utility aircraft, were retired from USAAF service in 1944. 

In 1939, 93 ex-USAAC aircraft were purchased by France and given new engines. Not having been delivered before the fall of France, sixty one were taken over by the British Purchasing Commission for the RAF and given the name Nomad. They were assessed as being obsolete and sent to South Africa for use as trainers. The remaining thirty two aircraft from the French order were transferred to Canada, where they were also used as advanced trainers. The Republic of China Air Force received some of A-17 aircraft as well.

Northrop A-17
Class Aircraft
Type Attack
Manufacturer Northrop Corporation
Origin United States of America
Country Name Origin Year
United States of America 1934
Country Name Operational Year Retirement Year
United States of America 1936 1944 View
ManufacturerName Production From Production To Quantity
Northrop Corporation 446 View

Role Ground attack
Manufacturer Northrop
Designer Jack Northrop
Introduction 1935
Primary users United States Army Air Corps
Swedish Air Force
Royal Canadian Air Force
South African Air Force
Number built 411
Developed from Northrop Gamma
Variants Douglas A-33

General characteristics

  • Crew: two (pilot and gunner)
  • Length: 32 ft (9.8 m)
  • Wingspan: 47 ft 9 in (14.6 m)
  • Height: 11 feet 10 1/2 inches (3.61 m)
  • Empty weight: 4,874 lb (2,210 Kg)
  • Loaded weight: 7,447 lb (3,377 Kg)
  • Max takeoff weight: 2,420 lb (1,100 kg)
  • Powerplant: 1 x Pratt & Whitney R-1535-13 Twin Wasp Jr double row radial air-cooled engine, 750 hp (560 kW)


  • Maximum speed: 206 mph (332 km/h)
  • Cruise speed: 170 mph (274 km/h)
  • Range: 700 miles (1,127 km)
  • Service ceiling 19,400 ft (5,900 m)


  • Four 0.3 in. fixed forward machine guns
  • One 0.3 in trainable rear machine gun
  • Internal bay for bombs
  • External wing bomb racks (total bomb load 544 kg (1200 lb)

End notes