Northrop BT-1: Almost but not quite.

Hard to imagine this poor-handling and questionable dive bomber was the origin -with more than a bit of “tunning”- of the inmortal Douglas “Slow But Deadly”. The BT was designed by the Northrop Corp., then a part of the Douglas company. Really modern with its all-metal structure, semi-retractable undercarriage, and dive brakes, the U.S. Navy bought with a modest 54 in the middle 1930’s. They saw service in both the USS Yorktown and Enterprise starting in 1938. The type was, as I’ve already noted, not very successful especially near the carriers at low speed where its dubious, even dangerous flight characteristics left a lot to be desired. Gladly its offspring more than compensated its forebear’s weaknesses.

Magnificent Kodachrome LIFE picture of some  BT-1’s of the CV-5 in the quite busy deck of the USS Yorktown, around 1938-39.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s