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North American AJ (A-2) Savage


Naval Medium Bomber Aircraft


United States | 1950



"The North American AJ Savage bomber series was the first U.S. bomber designed specifically to carry the atomic bomb."



Authored By: Staff Writer | Last Edited: 08/04/2016 | Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com | The following text is exclusive to this site; No A.I. was used in the generation of this content.
The AJ Savage series of aircraft was a product of the North American Aviation Company for the United States Navy following the Second World War. North American had already made a name for itself by this time with memorable World War Two designs in the P-51 Mustang and the B-25 Mitchell. The AJ Savage was to be no exception, designed specifically to carry an atomic load and becoming North American's first attempt at producing a dedicated "attack" bomber for the US Navy. The system would see years of service throughout the early and middle years of the Cold War.

With turbojet engine development still in its relative infancy, it was somewhat common in the early jet age years to mate established piston engines to newly developed jet powerplants. This was realized in the decision for the AJ Savage development, utilizing two piston radials and a turbojet at rear for additional power support. A large bomb bay could house up to 12,000lbs of internal stores or - in other variants - this space could be used for specialized equipment in the aerial refueling tanker role or that of the aerial photographic reconnaissance platform. No defensive armament was afforded the system.

The prototype XAJ-1 Savage aircraft made its maiden flight on July 3, of 1948. The system was a heavy-class attack bomber, mating the two Pratt & Whitney-brand R-2800-44W piston engines (rated at 2,400 horsepower each) and a single Allison J33-A-10 turbojet engine (rated at 4,600 pounds). The piston engines were mounted in their traditional twin-engine bomber locations, one per wing element, whilst the turbojet was fitted to the rear section of the aircraft. Wings were of a high-wing monoplane design (and foldable for carrier storage) and a single vertical tail component made up the features of the empennage. With all engines firing, the system was capable of over 470 miles per hour and could reach ranges of up to 1,600 miles. Crew accommodations amounted to three personnel. Production AJ-1 models were fielded as soon as 1949, though carrier operations with the system were not to begin until 1950. The USS Coral Sea was the first US Navy vessel to begin reception of the AJ-1 systems, to which some 140 examples were delivered.

The Savage airframe was modified to fulfill other roles as well, becoming an aerial tanker (AJ-1) in one form and the AJ-2P - a photographic reconnaissance model in another. The AJ-2P appeared with a modified nose assembly mounting some eighteen different camera systems while other specialized equipment was held in the fuselage. The AJ-2P systems went on to form a vital part of US Navy reconnaissance groups for the early part of the Cold War.

Designation changes for the AJ-1 Savage series occurred in 1962, now becoming the A-2 Savage.

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Power & Performance
Those special qualities that separate one aircraft design from another. Performance specifications presented assume optimal operating conditions for the North American AJ-1 (A-2A) Savage Naval Medium Bomber Aircraft.
2 x Pratt & Whitney R-2800-44W radial engines developing 2,400 horsepower each; 1 x Allison J33-A-1 turbojet engine developing 4,600 lb of thrust.
Propulsion
471 mph
758 kph | 409 kts
Max Speed
42,979 ft
13,100 m | 8 miles
Service Ceiling
Structure
The nose-to-tail, wingtip-to-wingtip physical qualities of the North American AJ-1 (A-2A) Savage Naval Medium Bomber Aircraft.
3
(MANNED)
Crew
63.0 ft
19.20 m
O/A Length
71.5 ft
(21.80 m)
O/A Width
20.3 ft
(6.20 m)
O/A Height
27,558 lb
(12,500 kg)
Empty Weight
51,061 lb
(23,161 kg)
MTOW
Armament
Available supported armament and special-mission equipment featured in the design of the North American AJ (A-2) Savage Naval Medium Bomber Aircraft .
OPTIONAL:
Up to 12,000 lb of internal stores including support for nuclear payloads.
Variants
Notable series variants as part of the North American AJ (A-2) Savage family line.
AJ "Savage" - Base Series Name
XAJ-1 - Prototype Model Designation of which 3 prototypes were produced along with 1 static test model.
AJ-1 - Initial Base Series Production Model Designation; later redesignated to A-2A.
AJ-2 - Fitted with uprated 2 x Pratt & Whitney R-2800-48 radial engines and 1 x Allison J33-A-10; increased fuel capacity; increased vertical stabilizer; later redesignated to A-2B.
A-2A - Redesignation of AJ-1 models from 1962 onwards.
A-2B - Redesignation of AJ-2 models from 1962 onwards.
AJ-2P - Specialized Dedicated Photographic Reconnaissance Variant based on the AJ-2 model.
Operators
Global customers who have evaluated and/or operated the North American AJ (A-2) Savage. Nations are displayed by flag, each linked to their respective national aircraft listing.

Total Production: 143 Units

Contractor(s): North American Aviation - USA
National flag of the United States

[ United States ]
Relative Max Speed
Hi: 500mph
Lo: 250mph
Aircraft Max Listed Speed (471mph).

Graph Average of 375 MPH.
Era Crossover
Pie graph section
Showcasing Aircraft Era Crossover (if any)
Max Alt Visualization
Small airplane graphic
Production Comparison
143
36183
44000
Entry compared against Ilyushin IL-2 (military) and Cessna 172 (civilian) total production.
MACH Regime (Sonic)
Sub
Trans
Super
Hyper
HiHyper
ReEntry
RANGES (MPH) Subsonic: <614mph | Transonic: 614-921 | Supersonic: 921-3836 | Hypersonic: 3836-7673 | Hi-Hypersonic: 7673-19180 | Reentry: >19030
Aviation Timeline
EarlyYrs
WWI
Interwar
WWII
ColdWar
Postwar
Modern
Future
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Image of the North American AJ (A-2) Savage
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Image of the North American AJ (A-2) Savage

Mission Roles
Some designs are single-minded in their approach while others offer a more versatile solution to airborne requirements.
GROUND ATTACK
MARITIME / NAVY
Recognition
Some designs stand the test of time while others are doomed to never advance beyond the drawing board; let history be their judge.
Going Further...
The North American AJ (A-2) Savage Naval Medium Bomber Aircraft appears in the following collections:
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