Northrop Beta

Summary

The Northrop Beta was an American single-engine, all-metal, low-wing sporting monoplane built in 1931.[1]

Northrop Beta
Northrop Beta 3-view L'Aerophile Salon 1932.jpg
Northrop Beta 3-view drawing from L'Aerophile Salon 1932
Role Sporting Monoplane
Manufacturer Northrop
Designer Don R. Berlin
First flight 3 March 1931
Number built 2 (1 Beta 3 and 1 Beta 3D)[1]
Variants Northrop Alpha
Northrop Gamma

Design and developmentEdit

The Beta was a two-seater with a 160 hp (119 kW) Menasco Buccaneer inline engine. The first aircraft registered as NX963Y (later NC963Y) crashed in California. The second aircraft, N12214, was built as a single-seater and fitted with a 300 hp (224 kW) Pratt & Whitney Wasp Jr. radial engine, and became the first aircraft of such power to exceed 200 mph (322 km/h).[1] Only two were built.

The aircraft was flown to Wichita for sister company Stearman Aircraft to use as a demonstrator but with the poor economy at the time, none were sold. The aircraft was sold to a wealthy pilot in New York and during its delivery, it passed through Wright Field in order to allow a thorough examination by Army Air Corps Engineers as the Air Corps was still using obsolete biplanes.

After being rarely flown during 1932, the aircraft was sold to a new owner who kept it at Roosevelt Field until it was flipped over at a nearby airport. The aircraft was repaired at the Stearman factory in Wichita and used as an experimental test platform for various flap designs until it crashed due to a wing structural failure on May 4, 1934.

Specifications (Beta 3D)Edit

General characteristics

  • Crew: 1
  • Length: 66 m (21 ft 8 in)
  • Wingspan: 9.75 m (32 ft 0 in)
  • Powerplant: 1 × Pratt & Whitney Wasp Jr. radial, 224 kW (300 hp)

Performance

  • Maximum speed: 341 km/h (212 mph, 184 kn)
  • Cruise speed: 297 km/h (185 mph, 160 kn)

See alsoEdit

Related development

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b c The Complete Encyclopedia of World Aircraft. Eds: Paul Eden, Soph Moeng. Amber Books Ltd., London (2002) ISBN 0-7607-3432-1