Model Airplane News
January, 1933

Model Airplane News Cover for January, 1933 by Jo Kotula Northrop Alpha

Northrop Alpha
Model Airplane News Cover Art for January, 1933
by Jo Kotula
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The Northrop Alpha was an American single-engine, all-metal, seven-seat, low-wing monoplane fast mail/passenger transport aircraft used in the 1930s

 The Northrop Alpha    The Northrop Alpha      The Northrop Alpha

Northrop Alpha
left: prototype as shown on the cover of M.A.N.
Click to Enlarge

Drawing on his experience with the Lockheed Vega, John K. Northrop designed the Alpha, an advanced mail/passenger transport aircraft. In addition to all-metal construction, the plane used revolutionary aerodynamic advancements:

The aircraft had day or night, all-weather capability and was very well-received. The aircraft first flew in 1930, with a total of 17 built.The Alpha entered service with Transcontinental & Western Air (future TWA). The trip from San Francisco to New York required 13 stops and took just over 23 hours. Three Alphas were operated by the US military as C-19 VIP transports until 1939. The Alpha was further developed into a dedicated fast transport Northrop Gamma.

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