Azur 1/72 North American NAA57 Training Aircraft Kit
Item #: AZU-9
Sale Price: $18.40
Shipping: This item normally ships within 2-3 business days.
Undoubtedly the most successful American training aircraft since the Curtiss Jenny was the series of trainers developed by North American in the late 1930s. These eventually became the well know and still much seen T-6 and SNJ 'Texan'. However, like most planes with a long life, they had to have a beginning and the North American model 57 was that beginning.
Unlike the AT-6 that followed, the model 57 was accepted as a basic trainer as the BT-9. While the wing was similar, the fuselage was fabric covered and the fin/rudder was somewhat different. Same with the powerplant. This version had a lower horsepower engine than did the AT-6, making the plane more docile and easier to handle. Probably the biggest difference between the later Texan and this plane was the landing gear. The BT-9 had fixed landing gear. In addition, the wing was mounted much lower, resulting in large fairings to smooth it in with the airflow. In addition to France and the US, the planes were used by Germany, Honduras, China, Australia, and Sweden. A manufacturing license was obtained by Japan, but it is unknown if any planes were built. To my knowledge, none are still flying and I'm unsure if any survived to be put in museums.