No. 9342. Seversky 2PA-L (NR189M c/n 143)
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Seversky 2PA-L

10/31/2009. Evolved in parallel with the P-35, the 2PA was a two-seat fighter and fighter-bomber with a fundamentally similar airframe and offered with either a similar undercarriage to that of the single-seater as the 2PA-L (Land) or with an amphibious float undercarriage as the 2PA-A (Amphibian). Dubbed 'Convoy Fighter' by the manufacturer, the 2PA was powered by a Wright R-1820-G2 or G3 Cyclone nine-cylinder radial engine, the former rated at 1,000hp for take-off and the latter at 875hp.

Armament comprised two wing-mounted 0.30 in (7.62 mm) or (0.50 in (12.7 mm) Browning guns, one 7.62 mm Browning on a flexible mount in the rear cockpit, plus two forward-firing fuselage-mounted 7.62mm or 12.7mm Browning guns. Provision was made for a bomb load of up to 227kg on internal wing racks.

Early in 1939, Major Seversky embarked upon a European sales tour in a 2PA-202 or 2PA-BX which was fitted with a 1,100hp Pratt & Whitney R-1830-S3C Twin Wasp. This aircraft was tested at the A&AEE Martlesham Heath, in March 1939, at the instigation of the Air Ministry. One 2PA-A and one 2PA-L were procured by the Soviet Union in March 1938, together with a manufacturing licence, which, in the event, was not to be utilised.

Twenty R-1820-G2-powered examples were ordered clandestinely by the Japanese Imperial Navy for use over China as long-range escort fighters. Designated 2PA-B3, these received an armament of two fuselage-mounted 7.62 mm machine guns and a similar weapon in the rear cockpit. Assigned the Japanese designation A8V1, the 2PAs were found to possess unacceptable levels of manoeuvrability and climb rate for the escort fighter role and were therefore relegated to reconnaissance missions in Central China, two later being passed to the Asahi Shimbun newspaper group.

Fifty-two 2PA-BXs were ordered by Sweden as dive-bombers (the Seversky company having meanwhile become the Republic Aviation Corporation), but only two of these were delivered to Sweden, the remainder being taken over by the USAAC as AT-12 Guardsman advanced trainers.

Created October 31, 2009