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Home Base: Montgomery County, NC
Operation: Central and Eastern USA
Model: AT-11
Wing Span:
47' 8"
Length: 34' 2"
Height: 9' 8"
Max Speed: 225 mph
Gross Weight: 7,800 lbs
Power Plant: 2 x Pratt & Whitney R985AN-14 "Wasp Jr.", 9 cylinders
Horsepower: 2 x 450
Fuel Capacity: 207 gallons
Armament: 10 x 100 lb bombs, 2 x.30 caliber machine guns.

Mike and Preston Allen's Beechcraft AT-11

Mike and Preston Allen are the owners and operators of this 1942 Beechcraft AT-11 (S/N 44-72015), which is available for airshows, flybys and film.

This is the sole survivor of the 24 AT-11's purchased by the Royal Netherlands Navy in 1941 for use as a light bomber in Java, Dutch East Indies (Java). The Japanese took the Dutch East Indies before the aircraft could be delivered. In May of 1942 the Royal Netherlands Military Flying School was established in Jackson, Miss. to train escaped Dutch to become pilots, bombardiers, and gunners. Of the 24 AT-11's used there, this is the only one left in existence! It still retains its original non-feathering propellers and 33 inch main tires. It was also used by the Raspet Flight Research Laboratory at Mississippi State University.(1956-1980).

The AT-11 was the standard U.S. Army Air Forces World War II bombing trainer; about 90 percent of the more than 45,000 USAAF bombardiers trained in AT-11s. Like the C-45 transport and the AT-7 navigation trainer, the Kansan was a military version of the Beechcraft Model 18 commercial transport. Modifications included a transparent nose, a bomb bay, internal bomb racks and provisions for flexible guns for gunnery training.

Student bombardiers normally dropped 100-pound sand-filled practice bombs. In 1943 the USAAF established a minimum proficiency standard of 22 percent hits on target for trainees. Typical combat training missions took continuous evasive action within a 10-mile radius of the target with straight and level final target approaches that lasted no longer than 60 seconds. After Sept. 30, 1943, the AT-11 usually carried a Norden Bombsight and a C-1 automatic pilot, which allowed the bombardier student to guide the aircraft during the bombing run.

In the gunnery training mode either a single 30 caliber motor driven turret (Made by Beechcraft and used on early AT-11's) or a twin 30 caliber electrically powered turret (made by Crocker
Wheeler and used on later AT-11's and all SNB-1's) was installed in the top of the rear fuselage.
There was also a tunnel gun which consisted of a flexible mounted 30 caliber machine gun in the lower rear fuselage. Two student gunners would man the turret and the tunnel gun as an instructor watched over them.

The AT-11 was set up just like a miniature version of the B-17 Flying Fortress or the B-24 Liberator. The advanced trainer was supposed to simulate the same environment as the full sized bombers. Tied into the Norden bombsight was the same C-1 autopilot that was used on all of the bombers of WWII. It was through this autopilot that the Bombardier could fly the aircraft through the bombsight.

A Navigator's position was located in the right rear fuselage (in the AT-11 only) which allowed for crew coordination training between the Pilot, the Bombardier, the Gunner and the Navigator. 192 AT-11's were configured with the Navigators station at the factory. Beech also made a Navigators station kit so aircraft in the field could be modified should the operating authority choose to do so. Most all of the AT-11's that I have seen show signs of this modification either from the factory or the field mod. The AT-11 was equipped with an oxygen system to allow for high altitude missions. The AT-11 and the SNB-1 had an SCR-283 radio set for communication between the tower and other aircraft.

The Beechcraft AT-11 was so successful that it was used by many other Air Forces during WWII including the Royal Netherlands Air Force and the Brazilian Air Force. The Chinese Air Force reportedly used the AT-11 in combat.

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