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North American / Ryan Navion

The Ryan Navion is a single-engine, unpressurized, retractable gear, four-seat aircraft originally designed and built by North American Aviation in the 1940s.

It was later built by Ryan Aeronautical Company and the Tubular Steel Corporation (TUSCO).

The Navion was originally designed at the end of World War II by North American Aviation as the NA-143 (but produced under the NA-145 designation).

North American built 1,109 Navions in 1946–47, initially selling them at a below cost US$3,995, which later increased to $6,100, although the actual cost of construction was $9,000.

These included 83 L-17As for the US Army and National Guard.

Ryan Aeronautical Company acquired the design in the summer of 1947, launching production at its San Diego factory in 1948.

Ryan built 1,240 Navions (powered by 205 hp (153 kW) Continental O-470 engines or 250 hp (190 kW) Lycoming O-435 engines), including 163 aircraft for the US armed forces, before production ended in 1951, with Ryan wanting to concentrate on defence production.

Production rights passed to the TUSCO corporation, which flew a prototype of a revised version, the Navion Rangemaster G, on June 10, 1960, and set up the Navion Aircraft Company to build it.

The Rangemaster G replaced the sliding canopy of the earlier Navions with a more conventional five seat cabin with access via car-type doors.

Production began in 1961, and by mid-1962 was reported to be at a rate of 20 per month, but Navion Aircraft Company went bankrupt, and the rights to the Navion were picked up by the Navion Aircraft Corporation, set up by members of the American Navion Society in mid-1965.


North American NA-143

Two prototypes.

North American NA-145 Navion

North American-built production aircraft, 1,027 built.

North American NA-154 Navion

Military version for the United States Army as the L-17A, 83 built.

Ryan Navion

Ryan-built production aircraft, 600 built.

Ryan Navion A

Improved Navion with a 205hp Continental E-185-9 engine, 602 built.

Ryan Navion B

Modified for the higher powered 260hp Lycoming GO-435-C2 engine, also known as the Super Navion 260, 222 built.

Tusco Navion D

Conversion by Tulsa Manufacturing Company with a 240hp Continental IO-470-P engine and tip tanks.

Tusco Navion E

Conversion Tulsa Manufacturing Company with a 250hp Continental IO-470-C engine and tip tanks.

Tusco Navion F

Conversion Tulsa Manufacturing Company with a 260hp Continental IO-470-H engine and tip tanks.

Navion G Rangemaster

Redesigned aircraft by Navion Aircraft Company with 260hp Continental IO-470H engine,

Integral cabin and tip tanks, 121, some built as the Rangemaster G-1 with a modified fin.

Navion H Rangemaster

Navion G with a 285hp Continental IO-520B engine, 60 built,

An additional aircraft was built by the Navion Rangemaster Aircraft Company in 1974.

Ryan Model 72

One Navion B was modified as two-seat trainer for a United States Navy competition with the Temco Model 33 Plebe.

Camair Twin Navion

Twin engine conversion Camair 480,

2 Continental O-470-B, 240 hp each.

Camair 480C, 2 Continental IO-470- 260 hp each.

25+- built.

X-16 Bi-Navion

One twin-engined (130hp Lycomings) prototype designed and built by Dauby Equipment Company in 1952, production by Riley and later by Temco.

Temco Riley 55

Initial version of the twin engined Navion conversion.

D-16 Twin Navion

Production version of the X-16 with two 150hp Lycoming O-320 engines and strengthened wings, 19 conversions by Riley and 46 by Temco.

Temco D-16A

Improved D-16 conversion with two 170hp Lycoming O-340-A1A engines, nacelle tanks and 20 gallon each tip tanks, 144 gallons fuel total.

45 conversions.

Military Versions


Military designation for NA-154s delivered to the United States Army, 83 built, re-designated U-18A in 1962.


Six L-17As modified by TEMCO as remote-controlled drones for the United States Air Force.


Military designation for Ryan-built Navion As delivered to the U.S.Army, 163 built, re-designated U-18B in 1962.


L-17As modified by Ryan with improved brakes and increased fuel capacity, 35 modified, re-designated U-18C in 1962.


Three former XL-22As for evaluation.


Two Ryan-built Navion Bs for the U.S.Army, re-designated XL-17D.


Former L-17As re-designated in 1962.


Former L-17Bs re-designated in 1962.


Former L-17Cs re-designated in 1962.





3 passengers


27 ft 6 in (8.38 m)


33 ft 5 in (10.19 m)


8 ft 8 in (2.64 m)

Wing area

184 sq ft (17.1 m2)

Empty weight

1,930 lb (875 kg)

Gross weight

2,850 lb (1,293 kg)

Fuel capacity

40 US gal (33 imp gal; 150 L)


1 × Lycoming GO-435-C2 air-cooled flat-six engine,

260 hp (190 kW) (take-off power)


Maximum speed

174 mph (280 km/h, 151 kn)

Cruise speed

170 mph (270 km/h, 150 kn)


595 mi (958 km, 517 nmi)

Service ceiling

18,000 ft (5,500 m)

Rate of climb

1,250 ft/min (6.4 m/s)

Take-off runs

400 ft (120 m)

Landing run

468 ft (143 m).




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