Boeing AT-15 Crewmaster

The Boeing AT-15 Crewmaster was a composite construction bomber trainer that was ordered into production before being cancelled in favour of the all-wooden Fairchild AT-21.

Early in the massive expansion of US military production there was a shortage of aluminium. In response a number of composite construction aircraft were designed, using as much wood and steel as possible. Boeing's Wichita Division (previously the Stearman Company) produced two such designs - the two-man BT-17 basic trainer and the four man XAT-15 Crewmaker (Model X-120).

The X-120 was designed to serve as a bomber-trainer. It was a fully functional bomber, with a gun turret and internal bomb bay, and was designed to allow a light bomber crew of four to train together. 

The fuselage of the X-120 was built around a welded steel tube framework with a fabric covering. The tail and wing used a wooden frame with a plywood covering. The X-120 was a twin-engined shoulder winged aircraft with the turret between the wing and the tail, the navigator in the nose and pilot and co-pilot in tandem just ahead of the wing leading edge.

The X-120 was accepted for production as the AT-15. A total of 1,045 were ordered, with 325 to be built by Bellanca, 360 by McDonnell and the rest by Boeing. Before construction got underway the Air Force had a change of heart and decided not to use composite construction for its advanced trainers. The AT-15 was cancelled and was replaced by the Fairchild AT-21, an all-wooden aircraft.

Engine: Two Pratt & Whitney R-1340-AN-1 engines
Power: 550hp each
Crew: 4 (bombardier, pilot, co-pilot, radioman/ gunner)
Span: 59ft 8in
Length: 42ft 4in
Height: 13ft 1in
Empty Weight: 10,640lb
Gross Weight: 14,355lb
Maximum Speed: 207mph at 5,000ft
Cruising Speed: 185mph
Climb rate: 10,000ft in 11.9 minutes
Ceiling: 18,900ft
Range: 850 miles
Guns: One .30in machine gun
Bomb load: Ten 100lb bombs

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How to cite this article: Rickard, J (11 September 2014), Boeing AT-15 Crewmaster , http://www.historyofwar.org/articles/weapons_boeing_AT-15_crewmaster.html

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