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Brewster F2A Buffalo Carrier-Based Monoplane (1937)

Authored By Staff Writer | Last Updated: 9/3/2015

The F2A Buffalo fought valiantly in the first Battle of Midway, where losses were heavy.

The stubby F2A Buffalo series became the United States Navy's first operational aircraft of monoplane design. Despite this honor, the system as a whole failed to live up to expectations set forth by technology and combat tactics in the Second World War.

The design of the Brewster Buffalo was fundamental in every sense of the word with the four fixed 12.7mm machine guns being the only true saving grace of the machine. The aircraft proved too heavy for dogfighting and suffered from poor maneuverability to boot. From the initial order of 54, only 11 were actually accepted into service with US forces, seeing action in the first engagement at the Battle of Midway. This engagement solidified the deficiencies inherent in the aircraft as 13 out of the 19 available Buffalos were lost to enemy fire.

The British received the F2A as well, going on to furnish the official name of "Buffalo" to the system. Initial experiences showed the aircraft too outmatched for even the slightest of engagements in Europe and the system was shipped to the Pacific where it found modest success in Singapore against the Japanese. Finland proved to be the only successful user of the Brewster F2A Buffalo, fighting off wave after wave of Soviet aggression during three years of war (Russo-Finnish War).

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Specifications for the
Brewster F2A Buffalo
Carrier-Based Monoplane

Focus Model: Brewster F2A-3 Buffalo
Country of Origin: United States
Manufacturer: Brewster - USA
Initial Year of Service: 1937
Production Total: 0

Crew: 1

Length: 26.35 ft (8.03 m)
Width: 35.01 ft (10.67 m)
Height: 12.07ft (3.68 m)
Weight (Empty): 4,731 lb (2,146 kg)
Weight (MTOW): 7,158 lb (3,247 kg)

Powerplant: 1 x Wright R-1820-40 cyclone radial piston engine.

Maximum Speed: 321 mph (517 kmh; 279 kts)
Maximum Range: 965 miles (1,553 km)
Service Ceiling: 33,202 ft (10,120 m; 6.3 miles)
Rate-of-Climb: 3,070 feet-per-minute (936 m/min)

Hardpoints: 0
Armament Suite:
4 x 12.7mm machine guns

F2A - Initial Production Designation


F2A-3 - Improved Armament; Improved Armor

Finland, United Kingdom, Netherlands East Indies and the United States of America.