Alpha Northrop Alpha - NASA Photo Role Transport Manufacturer Northrop Designer John K. Northrop First flight 1930 Introduction April 20, 1931 Retired 1975 to Smithsonian Institution Primary users Trans World Airlines
US Army Air Corps
Number built 17 Variants Northrop Gamma
The Northrop Alpha was an American single-engine, all-metal, seven-seat, low-wing monoplane fast mail/passenger transport aircraft used in the 1930s. Design work was done at the Avion Corporation, which in 1929, became the Northrop Aircraft Corporation based in Burbank, California.
Design & Development
Drawing on his experience with the Lockheed Vega, John K. Northrop designed an advanced mail/passenger transport aircraft. In addition to all-metal construction, the new Alpha benefitted from two revolutionary aerodynamic advancements: wing fillets researched at the Guggenheim Aeronautical Laboratory at the California Institute of Technology, and a multicellular stressed-skin wing of Northrop's own design which was later successfully used on Douglas DC-2 and Douglas DC-3. In addition, the Alpha was the first commercial aircraft to use rubber deicer boots on wing and empennage leading edges which, in conjunction with state-of-the-art radio navigation equipment, gave it day or night, all-weather capability. The aircraft first flew in 1930, with a total of 17 built.
The Alpha was further developed into a dedicated fast transport Northrop Gamma.
The Alpha entered service with Transcontinental & Western Air (future TWA) making its inaugural flight on April 20, 1931. The trip from San Francisco to New York required 13 stops and took just over 23 hours. TWA operated 14 aircraft until 1935, flying routes with stops in San Francisco, California; Winslow, Arizona; Albuquerque, New Mexico; Amarillo, Texas; Wichita, Kansas; Kansas City, Missouri; St. Louis, Missouri; Terre Haute, Indiana; Indianapolis, Indiana; Columbus, Ohio; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; and New York. Three Alphas were operated by the US military as C-19 VIP transports until 1939.
- Alpha 2
- six-passenger version
- Alpha 3
- two-passenger plus cargo version, several Alpha 2s were converted to this configuration
- Alpha 4
- cargo version with 2 ft (0.6 m) increased wingspan, all converted from Alpha 3s
- Alpha 4A
- cargo version, all converted from Alpha 4s
- YC-19 & Y1C-19
- military VIP transport, seating reduced to 4 passengers, serial numbers 31-516 to 31-518, YC-19 had a Pratt & Whitney R-1340-7, while the Y1C-19s had the R-1340-11 engine
- Trans World Airlines
- US Army Air Corps
Specifications (Alpha 2)
- Crew: 1
- Capacity: 6 passengers
- Length: 28 ft 5 in (8.7 m)
- Wingspan: 41 ft 10 in (12.8 m)
- Height: 9 ft 0 in (2.7 m)
- Wing area: 295 ft² (27.4 m²)
- Empty weight: 2,590 lb (1,177 kg)
- Loaded weight: 4,500 lb (2,045 kg)
- Useful load: 1,910 lb (868 kg)
- Max takeoff weight: lb (kg)
- Powerplant: 1 × Pratt & Whitney Wasp R-1340-SC1, 420 hp (313 kW)
- Maximum speed: 177 mph (285 km/h)
- Cruise speed: 145 mph (233 km/h)
- Range: 1,650 mi (2,650 km)
- Service ceiling: 19,300 ft (5,885 m)
- Rate of climb: 1,400 ft/min (7.1 m/s)
- Wing loading: 15.3 lb/ft² (74.6 kg/m²)
- Power/mass: 0.09 hp/lb (0.15 kW/kg)
- Related development
- Aircraft of comparable role, configuration and era
- Lockheed Vega
- Boeing Monomail
- Lockheed Model 9 Orion
- Eden, Paul and Soph Moeng. The Complete Encyclopedia of World Aircraft. London: Amber Books Ltd., 2002. ISBN 0-7607-3432-1.
- Fahey, James C. U.S. Army Aircraft 1908-1946 (Heavier-Than-Air) . New York: Ships and Aircraft, 1946.
- Smith, M.J. Jr. Passenger Airliners of the United States, 1926-1991. Missoula, Montana: Pictorial Histories Publishing Company, 1986. ISBN 0-933126-72-7.
- Swanborough, F. Gordon and Peter M. Bowers. United States Military Aircraft Since 1909. New York: Putnam, 1964. ISBN 0-85177-816-X.
Northrop aircraft Manufacturer
designations'Greek' series'N' series
Note: Northrop company designations include a wide variety of technologies. Only aircraft, aero engines, and missiles are linked here.
N-1 · N-2 · N-3 · N-4 · N-5 · N-6 · N-7 · N-8 · N-9 · N-10 · N-12 · N-14 · N-15 · N-16 · N-18 · N-19 · N-20 · N-21 · N-23 · N-24 · N-25 · N-26 · N-29 · N-31 · N-32 · N-34 · N-35 · N-36 · N-37 · N-38 · N-39 · N-40 · N-41 · N-46 · N-47 · N-48 · N-49 · N-50 · N-51 · N-52 · N-54 · N-55 · N-59 · N-60 · N-63 · N-65 · N-67 · N-68 · N-69 · N-71 · N-72 · N-73 · N-74 · N-77 · N-81 · N-82 · N-94 · N-96 · N-102 · N-103 · N-105 · N-110 · N-111 · N-112 · N-117 · N-124 · N-132 · N-133 · N-134 · N-135 · N-138 · N-141 · N-144 · N-149 · N-150 · N-151 · N-155 · N-156 · N-205 · N-267 · N-285 · N-300'P' series
P530 · P600 · P610
By roleAttackBombersDronesFightersReconnaissanceTrainersTransportsExperimental Names See also: TR-3 Lists relating to aviation General Military Accidents/incidents Records
Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.
Look at other dictionaries:
Northrop Alpha — Northrop Alpha … Deutsch Wikipedia
Northrop Alpha — (Y1C 19) Un Y1C 19 Alpha, version militaire Rôle Transport de passagers Constructeur … Wikipédia en Français
Northrop Grumman RQ-4A Global Hawk — Northrop Grumman RQ 4 Global Hawk … Deutsch Wikipedia
Northrop Gamma — 300px Frank Hawks and Northrop 2A Texaco Sky Chief Role Civil/Attack Manufacturer Northrop Corporation Designer Jack Northrop … Wikipedia
Northrop B-35 — Northrop YB 35 XB 35 während eines Testfluges … Deutsch Wikipedia
Northrop XB-35 — Northrop YB 35 XB 35 während eines Testfluges … Deutsch Wikipedia
Northrop X-47A — Northrop Grumman X 47 Pegasus Roll Out des X 47A Prototyps … Deutsch Wikipedia
Northrop Grumman Q-5 — Northrop Grumman RQ 5 Hunter … Deutsch Wikipedia
Northrop Grumman RQ-8 — Northrop Grumman MQ 8 Fire Scout … Deutsch Wikipedia
Northrop C-19 Alpha — YC 19 Alpha Role Transport Manufacturer Northrop Designer John K. Northrop First flight 1930 as Northrop Alpha Primary user US Army Air Corps Number built 3 … Wikipedia