L-17 'Navion'

The L-17 was designed by North American Aviation (acronym NAVION) after the end of WWII to fulfill the anticipated need of all the pilots returning from the war. This didn't work out as planned and the NAVION design and tooling was sold to the Ryan Aeronautical Company shortly after start of production.

Ryan produced a military variant of the NAVION designated L-17 which was originally intended as a "Liaison" or support aircraft. Although the L-17 was never intended as a fighter, they were among the first aircraft to see combat during the Korean Conflict.

From 1950 to 1953 the L-17's served as Forward Air Control, guiding fighters and bombers to their targets behind enemy lines. A few L-17's were field modified to carry light bombs and rockets to enable them to "shoot back."

During this time, some L-17's served as VIP aircraft, one being chosen by General Douglas MacArthur for his own, personal field transportation. The L-17's were also used in courier service, moving people, goods and documents to aircraft carriers at sea.



Navion N4244K Specifications:

Manufacturer: Ryan Aeronautical - 1948
Speed: 155 knots (178 mph)
Weight: 2850 lbs
Height: 8ft 7in
Wing Span: 33ft 5in
Engine: Continental IO-520-BB 285HP Fuel Injected