When the second world war ended North American Aviation, maker of the Harvard trainer (Americans call it A6, or Texan) and the superior P-51 Mustang needed to diversify with military contracts gone they turned to general aviation and designed this remarkable four place retractable cross country private aircraft. Some components like the landing gear bear distinct resemblance to P-51 parts and the tail is similar. North American put the aircraft into production and turned out 1,100 of them between 1946 and 1947. This is ZS-WUK, owned and operated by Steve George.It has a 185hp Continental engine and with the exception of upgrades to its panel, is pretty much what it would have been like when it was made. The Navion gained a great reputation among military fliers as there was a military version called the L-17 which was used as a military liaison
aircraft and saw service during the conflict in Korea.
The Navion is a demanding aircraft to fly having retractable gear and this one cruises around 100 mph and can stay aloft for close to a thousand miles of distance. About 11 Navion's were brought to Southern Africa to see service with Suidweslugdiens (South West Africa, now Namibia) as a feeder aircraft for the airline. At least one Navion was a purely civil/private unit, being imported direct by the owner.
eDIGImag® USA publishes this eMagazine "The Navions", featuring the North Americam (and Ryan) Navions in South Africa and abroad, plus the Rangemaster ( from the same stable). "The Navions" will follow the exploits of the Navion Airshow team, the progress of ZU-ROB as she nears completion and many other stories accompanied by photography and graphics. This publication is downloadable in PDF format and is free.