AT-21 Gunner

Resembling a midget medium bomber, Fairchild’s AT-21 was a dedicated gunnery trainer, contracted for the in the spring of 1941 as the USAAC anticipated having to train thousands of new airmen when the US was inevitably drawn into WWII. The Model 77, powered by twin Ranger V-770 engines, was built from Duramold (a plastic/plywood material); this was intended to free up strategic materials for the production of combat aircraft, but the difficulties experienced in tooling up and using Duramold meant that AT-21s were not delivered until 1943. Shortly thereafter, numbers of B-25s and B-26s were available for training purposes, and the AT-21s were phased out.

AT-21 Bibliography:

AT-21 artist’s depictions and 3-view Flight April 26, 1945 p.450

Photo: AT-21 without engines and tail Warbirds International July 2000 p.62