Model Airplane News
January, 1952

Model Airplane News Cover for January, 1952 by Jo Kotula North American AJ (NA-146) Savage

North American AJ (NA-146) "Savage"
Model Airplane News Cover Art for January, 1952
by Jo Kotula
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The North American AJ "Savage" was developed to meet a US Navy requirement for a high performance attack bomber capable of carrying a nuclear weapon. It became the first naval nuclear combat aircraft and for a time the world's largest carrier based airplane.

The North American AJ (NA-146) Savage      The North American AJ (NA-146) Savage

Photos of the North American AJ (NA-146) "Savage"
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In order to meet the specification's demands a large aircraft was required, this led to use of a composite powerplant, developed and tested in part by work on the X-15 "Stingaree" (discussed in our treat ment of the October, 1947 Cover of M.A.N.). In addition, composite power was used in several other aircraft selected for cover art, including:

The Savage was powered by a pair of Pratt & Whitney Double Wasp radials augmented by an auxiliary Allison J33 turbojet in the lower rear fuselage. This third engine was intended to provide a high speed 'dash' capability during the attack phase of the aircraft's operation and for extra boost on takeof. Other features included shoulder mounted folding wings, tricycle undercarriage, wing tip fuel tanks and (on the first models) dihedral tail planes.

The Savage was ordered In June 1946, the first of three XAJ-1 prototypes flying on 3 July 1948. These were followed by 55 initial production AJ-1s, the first one flying in May 1949. Deliveries to US Navy squadron VC-5 began in September 1949 and the first carrier landings were performed aboard USS Constellation in August 1950

Here is a video of the North American AJ (NA-146) "Savage" in action:

In addition to the cover of Model Airplane News, this airplane was also featured in the WINGS "Friend or Foe" trading card series of the early 1950s

 Card 044 of the Wings Friend or Foe series  The North American AJ (NA-146) Savage

Trading card representation of the North American AJ (NA-146) "Savage"
Click Here to see all 200 cards in the series
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Click Here for more information about the North American AJ (NA-146) "Savage".

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