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North American P-64

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P-64 (NA-68)
Type Fighter
Manufacturer North American Aviation
Introduced 1940
Primary users United States Army Air Force

The designator North American P-64 was assigned by the U.S. Army Air Corps to six North American model NA-68 aircraft seized by the U.S. government that were destined for Thailand when Thailand was invaded by Japanese forces in World War II.

The North American NA-68 was a development by the North American Aviation Company of a simple single seat, low-wing, single engine fighter for export. The design was developed from the model NA-16 experimental basic training aircraft of 1935. The NA-16 evolved into a series of aircraft that were some of the most successful advanced and basic training aircraft produced by any country and was the basic design for single engine fighters for small countries that needed simple aircraft with modern features.

The NA-50A, built for Peru, was a single seat fighter design based on the two-seat NA-26 that, for the first time, incorporated retractable landing gear. The NA-50A was powered by a Wright R-1820-77, 870 hp (650 kW) radial air-cooled engine and was armed with two .30 cal Colt-Browning machine guns. Peru purchased seven aircraft for the Peruvian Air Force, with deliveries completed in May 1939. In Peruvian service these aircraft were fitted with bomb racks under the fuselage for light bombs.

In 1940, the Thai Air Force ordered six aircraft similar to the NA-50A that were designated NA-68. The changes in the NA-68 included a modified landing gear, heavier armament, and redesigned tail surfaces similar to that adopted in later production advanced trainers. These aircraft were en route to Thailand when seized and returned to the United States where they were disarmed, assigned the P-64 designator and used for advanced fighter training.

Another single seat fighter that evolved from the basic NA-16 trainer design is the Australian Commonwealth Aircraft Corporation CA-12 Boomerang fighter.

Specifications (NA-68 (P-64))

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Related content

Comparable aircraft
CAC Boomerang Designation sequence