North American Aviation was founded in 1928 Clement Key
as an aviation holding company, but the air mail scandal of 1930
led to regulatory changes that induced the company to move into
aircraft production in 1935. The first plant was a 20-acre
facility near Los Angeles
Municipal Airport (in Inglewood)
that took advantage of the favorable year-round flying weather of
southern California. This plant was constructed specifically for
the military market, and made extensive use of subassembly
Production centered on trainers and observation
aircraft, such as the BT-9 and NA-16. The latter was the
forerunner of the famous AT-6,
which was produced in huge numbers. The company continued to focus
on small, single-engine aircraft until wartime demand for
multi-engine models led to development of the B-25 Mitchell.
In addition to the AT-6, North American produced the
B-25 and the P-51 Mustang
at its Inglewood plant. North American also produced these aircraft plus
B-24 Liberator at its
Dallas and Kansas City plants.
North American-Inglewood produced an average of about 364 P-51 and 99 B-25 airframes a month during the production runs of these models. Production at its other plants averaged 75 B-24, 193 B-25, and 210 P-51 airframes a month.
Boeing.com (accessed 2012-11-13)
The Pacific War Online Encyclopedia © 2007, 2012 by Kent G. Budge. Index