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Glide bombing was similar to dive bombing, only not as vertical. Figure 7: Glide Bombing Attack. Even when high-level attacks were made against land targets, it was typical to only use real bombardier in the lead aircraft. When the lead aircraft released its bombs, so did every other Avenger in the raid [Thomas ]. Level bombing was often used with land targets because few merited risky glide bombing.
However, quite a few did, such as enemy airfields. These had to be hit with glide-bombing attacks. The radio operator also had a defensive role.
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If an Avenger was attacked from the rear, he turned around and manned the. Compared to the. Near the end of the war, when the U. Navy was pounding heavily defended land targets, deaths among radio operators soared [Thomas ]. There was no armor in the bottom of the tunnel as there was around the seats of the pilot and turret gunner, and of course, AA hit from below. In high level bombing, most Avengers had no need for the radio operator to use the Norden bombsight as the bombardier. Normally, Avengers doing level bombing had to fly in large gaggles, with a single lead plane containing the bombardier.
All the pilots of the other planes simply dropped their bombs on cue when the lead plane released its payload. Many squadrons dropped the radio operator from their crews late in the war [Thomas ]. The information we have seen is all that is necessary to understand basic crew organization and seating. However, it leaves an obvious question unanswered. It was taken out in later models to make more room for radio equipment. Eden and Moeng present a cutaway view of an Avenger beyond the first model.
It shows no seat in the middle, and it shows a lot of radio gear that would be difficult for a human to share space with. Of course, the Avengers you see in air shows today usually do have a middle seat, but this was an after-war addition. For in-flight maintenance, the radio operator or turret gunner could climb into the middle compartment from the rear.
In the first production models of the TBF-1, there was indeed a second seat and rudimentary controls [Scrivner 7]. However, after the first 50, the controls were taken out. Sometimes, missions undoubtedly did put someone behind the pilot. For example, in observation missions to direct Army and Marine artillery fire but not for naval gunfire , there was always an observation officer from that service aboard [Suerstedt]. It seems likely that he was behind the pilot, but I have found no clear evidence of this.
However, this did not necessarily mean that he had a seat. The caption for Figure 12 specifically states that Lt.
Kerlee stood for four hours in the mission, hoisting his two big K cameras when he reached Wake for the picture-taking part of the mission. It does not look like he enjoyed the mission. Two separate canopies front and back would have disrupted air flow. This article cannot address that central question. Opinions have been expressed on the Internet, but none that I have found so far is documented. Some insight may come from a USN publicity photo for the prototype. As Figure 13 shows, the photo shows a crew of four, with someone about to climb into the middle seat.
The red dot in the middle of the star was removed in May , so this was a very early model. The picture suggests that the airplane may have been intended to have a crew of four but that this was later changed. I hope to amend this blog post in the future with more definitive information. Chance, William B. Eden, Paul E. Panko, Ray. Rikard, J. No longer online.
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Last viewed June 1, Scrivner, Charles L. Last viewed December 13, Thomas, Gearald W. Sign up for free e-mail delivery and notices of Pearl Harbor Aviation Museum events, special offers, and news. Share This:. Share on Facebook Share. Share on Twitter Tweet. Share on Pinterest Share. The United States of America USA , commonly known as the United States or America , is a country composed of 50 states, a federal district, five major self-governing territories, and various possessions. With a population of over million people, the U. The capital is Washington, D.
Forty-eight states and the capital's federal district are contiguous in North America between Canada and Mexico. The State of Hawaii is an archipelago in the mid-Pacific Ocean. The U. The extremely diverse geography, climate, and wildlife of the United States make it one of the world's 17 megadiverse countries. A biplane is a fixed-wing aircraft with two main wings stacked one above the other.
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The first powered, controlled aeroplane to fly, the Wright Flyer, used a biplane wing arrangement, as did many aircraft in the early years of aviation. While a biplane wing structure has a structural advantage over a monoplane, it produces more drag than a similar unbraced or cantilever monoplane wing. Improved structural techniques, better materials and the quest for greater speed made the biplane configuration obsolete for most purposes by the late s. A fighter aircraft is a military aircraft designed primarily for air-to-air combat against other aircraft, as opposed to bombers and attack aircraft, whose main mission is to attack ground targets.
The hallmarks of a fighter are its speed, maneuverability, and small size relative to other combat aircraft. The Navy's experience with the F2F revealed issues with stability and unfavorable spin characteristics,  prompting the 15 October contract for the improved XF3F-1 , placed before F2F deliveries began. The contract also required a capability for ground attack, in addition to the design's fighter role. A reduction in wheel diameter allowed greater fuselage streamlining, eliminating the prominent bulge behind the cowling of the F2F.
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The prototype, BuNo. The aircraft broke up in midair, crashing in a cemetery and killing Collins. An order for 54 F3F-1 fighters was placed on 24 August of that year, following the conclusion of the flight test program. Marine squadron VF-4M received the last six in January Ranger was a relatively small ship, closer in size and displacement to the first US carrier— Langley —than later ships.
An island superstructure was not included in the original design, but was added after completion. Deemed too slow for use with the Pacific Fleet's carrier task forces against Japan, the ship spent most of World War II in the Atlantic Ocean where the German fleet was a weaker opposition. Ranger saw combat in that theatre and provided air support for Operation Torch.
The ship was sold for scrap in Originally designed as a battlecruiser, she was converted into one of the Navy's first aircraft carriers during construction to comply with the Washington Naval Treaty of The ship entered service in and was assigned to the Pacific Fleet for her entire career.
Saratoga and her sister ship, Lexington , were used to develop and refine carrier tactics in a series of annual exercises before World War II. On more than one occasion these exercises included successful surprise attacks on Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. A supercharger is an air compressor that increases the pressure or density of air supplied to an internal combustion engine.
This gives each intake cycle of the engine more oxygen, letting it burn more fuel and do more work, thus increasing power. The entire F3F-2 production series was delivered in between and ; when deliveries ended, all seven Navy and Marine Corps pursuit squadrons were equipped with Grumman single-seat fighters. It featured a larger-diameter propeller, and a complete revision of the fuselage skinning forward of the aft cabane strut in order to improve aerodynamics and reduce carbon monoxide intrusion.
A monoplane is a fixed-wing aircraft with a single main wing plane, in contrast to a biplane or other multiplane, each of which has multiple planes. With the introduction of the Brewster F2A-1, the Navy's biplane fighter days were numbered. All F3Fs were withdrawn from squadron service by the end of , though were assigned to naval bases and used for training and utility duties until December The G and GA two-place aircraft were used by the U. Data from: Aerofiles - Grumman . The restorations took four years and consisted of rebuilding the GA from original blueprints with tooling built at the Texas Airplane Factory.
The wreckage of three -2 aircraft which had originally crashed in Hawaii were utilized to complete the other restorations. Data from Great Aircraft of the World . The F3F was featured as an "experimental fighter" in Warner Bros. Aircraft of comparable role, configuration and era. Development on the more advanced EA-6B began in Although the Curtiss JN series was originally produced as a training aircraft for the U.
Army, the "Jenny" continued after World War I as a civil aircraft, as it became the "backbone of American postwar [civil] aviation. With pleasant flying characteristics and good manoeuvrability, the aircraft proved very successful. The Pup was eventually outclassed by newer German fighters, but it was not completely replaced on the Western Front until the end of Remaining Pups were relegated to Home Defence and training units. The Pup's docile flying characteristics also made it ideal for use in aircraft carrier deck landing and takeoff experiments.
The Hellcat competed with the faster Vought F4U Corsair for that role and prevailed, as the Corsair had significant issues with carrier landings. The Corsair, instead, was primarily deployed to great effect in land-based use by the U. Marine Corps. It was the first twin-engine fighter to be deployed by the USN. While the Tigercat was delivered too late to see combat in World War II, it saw action as a night fighter and attack aircraft during the Korean War.
It was Grumman Aircraft's last piston engined fighter aircraft. Modified versions have broken speed records for piston-engined aircraft, and are popular among warbird owners and air racers. Marine Corps were designated HRS. In , the U. Navy, U.