Improvements in engines and aircraft design led the Navy to abandon its old system of using different aircraft such as SB for Scout Bomber and TB for Torpedo Bomber and to combine these missions in one aircraft. The Douglas Company's BT2D was an example of an aircraft that was to combine the bombing and torpedo launching functions in one airframe. The Martin Company's BTM was designed in the same spirit. Eventually the old system of designation reflected the changes when the letter A for Attack replaced S(Scout), B (Bomber) and T (Torpedo). The BT2D served virtually all its life as the AD and later A-1. The BTM is remembered as the AM Mauler.
The AM-1 was a torpedo and dive bomber that was also used for scouting missions. All bombs, mines, torpedos, rockets, etc. were carried externally on three pylons on the wings and fuselage. There were provisions for radar on the right wing pylon. The AM-1 had one crew member. The structure was an all-metal conventional design. The AM-1 had split dive brakes interlocked with landing flaps. It was capable of carrying incendiary and fragmentation clusters and smoke tanks.
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