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Boeing F2B (Model 69)

United States (1928)
Picture of Boeing F2B (Model 69) Carrier-Based Biplane Fighter

In all, some 33 of the Boeing F2B type were constructed including its sole prototype example.


Detailing the development and operational history of the Boeing F2B (Model 69) Carrier-Based Biplane Fighter.  Entry last updated on 2/13/2018. Authored by Staff Writer. Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com

The Boeing F2B biplane fighter served the United States Navy in a carrier-based fighter role. It was produced in over two dozen examples and did not see service beyond the United States. Developed from the Boeing PW-9, the F2B was a sound, dual-role fighter that provided a capable solution to the American carrier wings throughout the 1920s. This aircraft also proved the mount of choice for the U.S. Navy's "Three Sea Hawks" aerobatic team which typically tied its three F2B biplanes together for close formation flying - the group became known as the "Suicide Trio" for obvious reasons.

Origins of the F2B lay in testing done on a single ("one-off") experimental offshoot of the Boeing PW-9 fighter. The experiment was designated "FB-6" and known by Boeing as "Model 54". From this came the Boeing "XP-8" (Model 66) which was eventually tested (and passed on) by the U.S. Army and developed into a suitable design for the U.S. Navy. The PW-9 airframe was mated to a Pratt & Whitney R-1340-B "Wasp" series radial engine of 450 horsepower which promised the line improved performance over the original. When the U.S. Navy need arose for a new modern biplane fighter, the Model 69 arrived to fulfill just that role. The biplane wing arrangement was retained as was the twin-wheeled undercarriage with tailskid. The pilot sat under and slightly behind the upper main wing assembly in the typical open-air cockpit of the period with the engine ahead in the forward fuselage. While a spinner was added to the engine's frontal face in the prototype, this feature was dropped on the production models that followed. Standard armament became 2 x 0.30 caliber machine guns fitted over the engine and synchronized to fire through the spinning propeller blades though this could also be replaced by a combination 1 x .30 caliber and 1 x 0.50 caliber heavy machine gun arrangement for additional punch. The lower wing assembly was also wired for the carrying, and delivery, of conventional drop ordnance. In this fashion, the Model 69 could serve double-duty as fighter and fighter-bomber aboard U.S. carriers.

First flight of the Model 69 (as the U.S. Navy prototype "XF2B-1") was on November 3rd, 1926. Following the requisite period of testing, the aircraft was formally introduced by the U.S. Navy as the Boeing "F2B" on January 20th, 1928. The initial order was for 32 first-batch aircraft to be designation "F2B-1" and operational service began aboard the deck of the USS Saratoga (CV-3) - a soon-to-be World War 2 veteran.
In practice, the F2B was a very solid design and capable carrier-based fighter for its time, possessing the required agility and power. In the finalized configuration of the aircraft, the fighter was capable of reaching speeds near 160 miles per hour and cruised at around 130 miles per hour. Range was a handy 315 miles which was a key quality for aircraft usually called to operate far from land-bases for refueling and rearming. Its service ceiling peaked at 21,500 feet and rate-of-climb was 1,900 feet per second. Weights included 2,000lbs when empty and 2,800 under its Maximum Take-Off Weight (MTOW). The Pratt & Whitney R-1340-8 Wasp radial piston engine developed 425 horsepower, providing the necessary thrust to propel the F2B from carrier decks. Browning M2 heavy and M1919 medium machine guns made up its standard fighter armament while 5 x 25lb bombs could be slung under the lower wing section for strike sorties.

Boeing also developed the Model 69B of which two were produced and one each sent to the nations of Brazil and Japan for evaluation. However, the type was not taken up by either country. Additionally, the United States Navy did not order any more F2B fighters beyond its original stock order for 32 aircraft.

Such ended the story for this Boeing carrier-based fighter. Including the single prototype, 33 aircraft of the line were completed.






Our Data Modules allow for quick visual reference when comparing a single entry against contemporary designs. Areas covered include general ratings, speed assessments, and relative ranges based on distances between major cities.

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Relative Maximum Speed Rating
Hi: 200mph
Lo: 100mph
    This entry's maximum listed speed (158mph).

    Graph average of 150 miles-per-hour.
City-to-City Ranges
NYC
 
  LON
LON
 
  PAR
PAR
 
  BER
BER
 
  MOS
MOS
 
  TOK
TOK
 
  SYD
SYD
 
  LAX
LAX
 
  NYC
Graph showcases the Boeing F2B-1's operational range (on internal fuel) when compared to distances between major cities.
Aviation Era
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Unit Production Comparison
Comm. Market HI*: 44,000 units
Military Market HI**: 36,183 units
33
33


  * Commercial Market High belongs to Cessna 172.

  ** Military Market High belongs to Ilyushin Il-2.


Altitude Visualization
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Origin: United States
Year: 1928
Type: Carrier-Based Biplane Fighter
Manufacturer(s): Boeing - USA
Production: 33
Status: Retired, Out-of-Service
Global Operators:
Brazil (1); Japan (1); United States
Historical Commitments / Honors:

Military lapel ribbon for Operation Allied Force
Military lapel ribbon for the Arab-Israeli War
Military lapel ribbon for the Battle of Britain
Military lapel ribbon for the Battle of Midway
Military lapel ribbon for the Berlin Airlift
Military lapel ribbon for the Chaco War
Military lapel ribbon for the Cold War
Military lapel ribbon for the Cuban Missile Crisis
Military lapel ribbon for the Falklands War
Military lapel ribbon for the French-Indochina War
Military lapel ribbon for the Golden Age of Flight
Military lapel ribbon for the 1991 Gulf War
Military lapel ribbon for the Indo-Pak Wars
Military lapel ribbon for the Iran-Iraq War
Military lapel ribbon for the Korean War
Military lapel ribbon for the 1982 Lebanon War
Military lapel ribbon for the Malayan Emergency
Military lapel ribbon for the attack on Pearl Harbor
Military lapel ribbon for the Six Day War
Military lapel ribbon for the Soviet-Afghan War
Military lapel ribbon for the Spanish Civil War
Military lapel ribbon for the Suez Crisis
Military lapel ribbon for the Vietnam War
Military lapel ribbon for Warsaw Pact of the Cold War-era
Military lapel ribbon for the WASP (WW2)
Military lapel ribbon for the World War 1
Military lapel ribbon for the World War 2
Military lapel ribbon for the Yom Kippur
* Ribbons not necessarily indicative of actual historical campaign ribbons. Ribbons are clickable to their respective campaigns/operations.
Measurements and Weights icon
Structural - Crew, Dimensions, and Weights:
Unless otherwise noted the presented statistics below pertain to the Boeing F2B-1 model. Common measurements, and their respective conversions, are shown when possible.

Operational
CREW


Personnel
1


Dimension
LENGTH


Feet
22.90 ft


Meters
6.98 m


Dimension
WIDTH


Feet
30.09 ft


Meters
9.17 m


Dimension
HEIGHT


Feet
9.22 ft


Meters
2.81 m


Weight
EMPTY


Pounds
1,984 lb


Kilograms
900 kg


Weight
LOADED


Pounds
2,811 lb


Kilograms
1,275 kg

Engine icon
Installed Power - Standard Day Performance:
1 x Pratt & Whitney R-1340-8 Wasp air-cooled radial piston engine developing 425 horsepower.

Performance
SPEED


Miles-per-Hour
158 mph


Kilometers-per-Hour
255 kph


Knots
138 kts


Performance
RANGE


Miles
311 mi


Kilometers
500 km


Nautical Miles
270 nm


Performance
CEILING


Feet
21,506 ft


Meters
6,555 m


Miles
4.07 mi


Performance
CLIMB RATE


Feet-per-Minute
1,890 ft/min


Meters-per-Minute
576 m/min

Supported Weapon Systems:

Graphical image of an aircraft medium machine gun
Graphical image of an aircraft heavy machine gun
Graphical image of an aircraft conventional drop bomb munition
Armament - Hardpoints (5):

STANDARD:
1 x 0.50 caliber Browning M2 heavy machine gun AND 1 x 0.30 caliber Browning M1919 medium machine gun OR 2 x 0.50 caliber Browning M2 heavy machine guns.

OPTIONAL:
5 x 25lb conventional drop bombs under the lower wing assembly.
Variants: Series Model Variants
• XF2B-1 - Single prototype model
• F2B-1 - Production model designation for United States Navy.
• Model 69B - Export model based on F2B-1; two examples, one delivered to Brazil and the other to Japan.