Planes of Fame Air Museum
Planes of Fame Air Museum
Home »  Collection »  Flying & Static Aircraft »  North American O-47A


  • The 0-47 was the world's first modern observation air- craft. In 1934 General Aviation Corporation answered the Army's call for a new reconnaissance airplane. Built entirely of metal, the rotund fuselage would comfortably house a crew of three: pilot, gunner, and camera operator. The mid-wing monoplane had fully retractable landing gear and a cruising speed of more than 200 mph, faster than most fighters of its time.
  • By 1936 the Army was ready to place orders for the hefty aircraft and North American Aviation, the successor to General Aviation, received orders for 164 aircraft. Soon after the 0-47 A entered service, a second order for 74 air- craft with a more powerful engine and greater fuel capacity was received. These aircraft were given the designation 0-47B. Advances in fighter technology soon rendered the 0-47 vulnerable. By 1941 most models were turned over to National Guard units. However, several 0-47s were still in service at the time of the 07 December attacks on Pearl Harbor and the Philippines.



  • Planes of Fame Air Museum's 0-47 acted as a stand-in for the "Phoenix" (smaller inset color image) in the original version of the 1965 film The Flight of the Phoenix. The actual "Phoenix" crashed during filming, killing stunt pilot Paul Mantz. As all primary filming had been completed, the 0-47 was used for some of the final scenes of the film.



Status: Restoring to Flight
Manufacturer: North American Aviation
Year: 1943
Model: O-47A
Registration Number:
Serial Number: 25-554 (military 38-284)
Crew: 3
Max T/O Weight: 7,636 lb.
Span: 46 ft. 4 in.
Length: 33 ft. 3 in.
Height: 13 ft. 9 in.
Maximum Speed: 227 mph
Cruise Speed: 200 mph
Rate of Climb: 1,470 ft/min
Power Plant: 1 × Wright R-1820-57 Cyclone 9-cylinder air-cooled radial engine, 1,060 hp
Range: 840 miles
Service Ceiling: 24,100 ft.
Armament: One fixed forward-firing and one flexible rear-firing 0.30-cal machine gun


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