Air International 1995-08
R.Francillon - From Torpedo and Scout Bombers to Attack Aircraft (1)
The Navy ordered two XTB3F-1s with R-2800-34W radial engines and Westinghouse 19XB auxiliary engines. Only the first (BuNo 90504) was completed as a prototype for the last USN torpedo-bomber. It is seen here on April 28, 1947, after removal of the jet (note plugged jet exhaust above the tailhook) and temporary addition of a dorsal fin.
Three-view drawing of the Grumman XTSF-1.
Douglas XTBD-1 (BuNo 9720) seen here on November 4, 1936, with raised cockpit enclosure.
Douglas TBD-1s of VT-3 aboard the USS Saratoga during prewar operations.
Douglas XTBD-1 (BuNo 9720) with original cockpit enclosure.
Three-view drawing of the Douglas proposal for the 1939 torpedo bomber competition.
Seen here displaying at the Great Warbirds Airshow at West Mailing in June 1991. TBM-3R Avenger G-BTDP/BuAer 53319, wearing its original USN colours with code '319/RB', is owned by Anthony Haig-Thomas and regularly appears on the UK airshow circuit.
The first Grumman XTBF-1 (BuNo 2539), seen here with original tail surfaces, was lost on November 28. 1941, following an in-flight engine fire.
The second Grumman XTBF-1 (BuNo 2540) with revised tail surfaces as adopted for all production Avengers.
Two TBM-3 airframes were modified by the Naval Air Maintenance Unit in Johnsville, Pennsylvania, as XTBM-5 prototypes for the proposed two-seat, lower gross weight TBM-5 version with longer span, wheelwell doors and jet augmentation exhaust pipes.
Cleaner and powered by a more powerful R-2800 engine, the XTBU-1 (BuNo 2542) had better performance than XTBF-1s (BuNos 2539 and 2540) with the R-2600 engine. However, the Navy felt that the Vought design would be less suitable for carrier operations than its Grumman competitor.
The first Douglas XTB2D-1 at the El Segundo plant on March 13, 1945. BuNo 36933 was then ready to fly. However, late delivery of its R-4360-8 engine delayed the first flight until May 7, 1945.
Three-view drawing of the Douglas XTB2D-1.
Three-view drawing of the Grumman XTB2F-1.
The Great Lakes XTBG-1 (BuNo 9723) had a separate cockpit for the bombardier/navigator forward of the wings with a bomb-aiming station in the lower forward fuselage, just ahead of the retractable main undercarriage.