The NAvion was the first civilian aircraft manufactured by North American Aviation, known for producing legendary military aircraft such as the P-51 Mustang fighter, AT-6 Texan trainer, B-25 Mitchell bomber and F-86 Saber Jet fighter. NAvions are rugged, capable aircraft that have excellent short landing and take-off capabilities, can land on relatively rough fields and carry 4 people or reasonable cargo capacity while still offering good range. The same qualities that made it attractive to civilian buyers caught the attention of the U.S. Army that needed a “flying pickup truck” for “liaison” duties such as personnel transport, light cargo duties and airborne reconnaissance. 83 aircraft were ordered in 1946 and given the military designation L-17A. North American sold the design along with about 60 uncompleted aircraft to Ryan Aeronautical Company, famed producer of the Spirit of St. Louis, in July 1947, and Ryan produced another 158 upgraded L-17Bs ordered in 1948, and a final order of 5 L-17Bs in 1949 for the Hellenic (Greek) Air Force for a total of 246 L-17s of all types. The rugged design and short-field qualities of the Navion were ultimately it’s downfall – it was expensive to produce and slower than the competition.
48-1007 was accepted by the US Air Force in Jan 1949 and was delivered the the U.S. Army in Dec 1949. I likely served it’s entire Army career in Germany and Japan, although 26 L-17s were used during the Korean War. It was transfered to Schweitzer Aircraft Company, Elmira, NY for maintenece and storage in 1956, and then transferred to the Civil Air Patrol in Presidio of San Francisco (CA), Ellensburg (WA) and finally Yakima (WA). It was struck from USAF inventory in Jun 1967.
|Date of Manufacture
|Ryan L-17B Navion
|60 Gal – 40 in wings, 20 in underseat aux tank
|Rate of Climb
|Number of Crew
48-1007 currently wears the paint scheme for an ROTC trainer of the 1960s and is in the process of being brought back to it’s correct military configuration. External antennas are correct. The interior and panel is currently undergoing restoration, and the upgraded engine will be replaced in 2015.
Printable QR Codes for: Ryan L-17B Navion 48-1007:
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