Historical Snapshot

NA-21 Bomber

The experimental NA-21 Dragon was North American Aviation’s first venture into multiengine design. It was a high-altitude bomber armed with single 0.30-inch (0.76-centimeter) machine guns in each of five positions, including in a ball-type turret in the nose. The NA-21 could carry 10,000 pounds (4535 kilograms) of bombs short distances or carry 2,200 pounds (998 kilograms) of bombs for 1,900 miles (3057 kilometers).

After a few small changes, the NA-21 was accepted for testing at Wright Field — now part of Wright-Patterson Air Force Base — but orders did not follow. The Air Force bought the single NA-21 in 1939 and redesignated it the XB-21.

    Technical Specifications

    First flight Dec. 22, 1936
    Span 95 feet
    Length 61 feet 9 inches
    Height 14 feet 9 inches
    Gross weight 27,253 pounds
    Power plant Two 1,200-hp Pratt & Whitney R-2180-1 Hornet engines with F-10 turbo-superchargers
    Speed 220 mph
    Range 1,960 miles
    Crew Six
    Armament Five .30-caliber machine guns, up to 10,000 pounds of bombs