×
Aviation & Aerospace - Airpower 2024 - Aircraft by Country - Aircraft Manufacturers Vehicles & Artillery - Armor 2024 - Armor by Country - Armor Manufacturers Infantry Small Arms - Warfighter 2024 - Small Arms by Country - Arms Manufacturers Warships & Submarines - Navies 2024 - Ships by Country - Shipbuilders U.S. Military Pay 2024 Military Ranks Special Forces by Country

Grumman F3F


Carrier-based Biplane Fighter Aircraft


United States | 1936



"Grumman continued its relationship as a USN fighter supplier delivering their useful F3F series in 1936 - the last biplane fighter to be adopted by the service."



Authored By: Staff Writer | Last Edited: 10/24/2018 | Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com | The following text is exclusive to this site; No A.I. was used in the generation of this content.
Flag of Image copyright www.MilitaryFactory.com; No Reproduction Permitted.
Firepower
Performance
Survivability
Versatility
Impact
When the United States Navy (USN) adopted the Grumman F3F series, it took on its last biplane-arranged fighter before moving on to more modern monoplane forms. 147 of the type were produced by Grumman who was establishing itself as a regular USN contributor with a relationship that would last well into the Cold War years. Manufacture spanned from 1936 into 1939. First flight of an F3F prototype was on March 20th, 1935 with service introduction following in 1936. While on hand at the start of World War 2 (1939-1945), the F3F did not see combat service in the grand conflict for the line was removed in 1941 as a frontline system - the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor came in December of that year and thus followed the official American entry into the war. Formal retirement of the F3F series arrived in 1943, its successor being the Brewster F2A "Buffalo" series detailed elsewhere on this site.

The F3F came about as an improved form of the preceding F2F biplane fighter. The earlier design showcased issues with stall/dive recovery and general stability which led the USN to offer Grumman a shot at a slightly redesigned model under the "F3F" designation. The prototype, therefore, took on the "XF3F-1" designation and it carried on use of the Pratt & Whitney "Twin Wasp Junior" radial piston engine of 700 horsepower and used a similar biplane wing arrangement with open-air cockpit. Of note is that its general form mimicked that of the next-in-line for Grumman fighter - the classic F4F "Wildcat" monoplane of World War 2 fame.

The F3F - company model "G-11" - featured dimensional changes over that as seen in the F2F. Its fuselage length was increased some to counter the stability issues and its wing surfaces were enlarged. The new design was extensively tested for dive recovery but one of these tests ultimately led to a crash of the prototype - fatal to the company test pilot - when the XF3F-1 broke up in flight. This forced a revision of the design which included reinforced members for increased durability and produced a second flyable prototype. Again the aircraft was lost, this time unable to recover from a spin action, though the test pilot was able to bail out in time. The airframe, despite crashing, was salvaged and rebuilt to fly again during June of 1935.

With the tests behind it and appropriate action taken to rectify emerging issues, XF3F-1 was ordered as the "F3F-1" through an initial 54-strong batch order. The first aircraft arrived in late-January of 1936 and was assigned to USS Ranger. The United States Marine Corps (USMC) followed the USN in its use of the F3F series.

Article Continues Below Advertisement...
ADVERTISEMENTS
Standard armament fitted to the F3F consisted of a single .30 caliber Browning M1919 machine gun in the engine cowling (port side) paired with a .50 caliber Browning M2 Heavy Machine Gun (HMG) in the engine cowling (starboard side). The F3F was also given an inherent bomb-carrying/delivery capability, able to haul 2 x 116lb conventional drop bombs into combat.

As a private venture, Grumman engineers fit the new Wright XR-1820-22 "Cyclone G" supercharged radial of 850 horsepower into a prototype and successfully tested the system which interested the USN enough to place an order for 81 units under the "F3F-2" designation (company model "G-19") during July of 1936. The finalized operational models carried the Wright R-1820-22 "Cyclone" radial of 950 horsepower and the new engine fit forced a revised frontal section which promoted a stouter appearance for the aircraft. Despite the changes, the F3F-2 proved itself a faster model of airplane when compared to the original F3F-1.

Grumman did not end its work on the F3F for the "XF3F-3" was developed from the F3F-2 to further the line some more as subtle refinements (a revised cowling, curved windshield structure) were introduced. A large propeller unit was also fitted and small structural changes instituted to produce the new service mark - "F3F-3" - and 27 of these new fighters were taken on by the USN. The end of the line came when the USN shifted to monoplane fighters though the F3F continued in a training role into late 1943 before being given up for good.

Beyond the military versions were some civilian-minded developments. The G-22A "Gulfhawk II" was a twin-seat demonstrator of 1938 outfitted with a Wright R-1820 "Cyclone" engine of 1,000 horsepower - one was built. The G-32/G-32A "Gulfhawk III" was a similar offering and completed in two examples. The G-32 aircraft operated for a time under the USAAF banner as the "C-103" in the pilot training ferry role.

By the time of World War 2, the Grumman F4F "Wildcat" was entrenched as the primary USN fighter. This was bettered by the upcoming F6F "Hellcat" and saw Grumman fighters reached their piston-powered pinnacle before war's end with the arrival of the F8F "Bearcat".

Content ©MilitaryFactory.com; No Reproduction Permitted.
Power & Performance
Those special qualities that separate one aircraft design from another. Performance specifications presented assume optimal operating conditions for the Grumman F3F-3 Carrier-based Biplane Fighter Aircraft.
1 x Wright R-1820-22 "Cyclone" 9-cylinder radial piston engine developing 950 horsepower driving a three-bladed propeller unit at the nose.
Propulsion
264 mph
425 kph | 229 kts
Max Speed
33,202 ft
10,120 m | 6 miles
Service Ceiling
994 miles
1,600 km | 864 nm
Operational Range
2,800 ft/min
853 m/min
Rate-of-Climb
City-to-City Ranges
Operational range when compared to distances between major cities (in KM).
NYC
 
  LON
LON
 
  PAR
PAR
 
  BER
BER
 
  MOS
MOS
 
  TOK
TOK
 
  SYD
SYD
 
  LAX
LAX
 
  NYC
Structure
The nose-to-tail, wingtip-to-wingtip physical qualities of the Grumman F3F-3 Carrier-based Biplane Fighter Aircraft.
1
(MANNED)
Crew
23.1 ft
7.05 m
O/A Length
32.0 ft
(9.75 m)
O/A Width
9.4 ft
(2.85 m)
O/A Height
3,307 lb
(1,500 kg)
Empty Weight
4,795 lb
(2,175 kg)
MTOW
Design Balance
The three qualities reflected below are altitude, speed, and range. The more full the box, the more balanced the design.
RANGE
ALT
SPEED
Armament
Available supported armament and special-mission equipment featured in the design of the Grumman F3F Carrier-based Biplane Fighter Aircraft .
STANDARD:
1 x 0.30 caliber Browning M1919 Medium Machine Gun (MMG) in engine cowling (port side).
1 x 0.50 caliber Browning M2 Heavy Machine Gun (HMG) in engine cowling (starboard side).

OPTIONAL:
2 x 116 lb conventional drop bombs carrier underwing (one to a wing).
Variants
Notable series variants as part of the Grumman F3F family line.
F3F - Base Series Designation
G-11 - Company Model for F3F-1
XF3F-1 - Initial prototype; Pratt & Whitney R-1534-84 "Twin Wasp Junior" radial engine of 700 horsepower fitted.
F3F-1 - Initial production model; 54 examples
G-19 - Company Model for F3F-2
XF3F-2 - Prototype of F3F-2 series; fitted with Wright XR-1820-22 Cyclone G radial of 850 horsepower.
F3F-2 - Wright R-1820-22 Cyclone engine of 950 horsepower fitted; 81 examples.
XF3F-3 - Prototype based on F3F-2 model; revised engine cowling and windscreen.
F3F-3 - XF3F-3 production model; 27 examples
G-22 "Gulfhawk II" - Civilian demonstrator; Wright R-1820 Cyclone engine of 1,000 horsepower fitted; single example.
G-32 / G-32A "Gulfhawk III" - Civilian demonstrator; two examples completed.
C-103 / UC-103 - USAAF designation of in-service G-32 aircraft.
Operators
Global customers who have evaluated and/or operated the Grumman F3F. Nations are displayed by flag, each linked to their respective national aircraft listing.

Total Production: 147 Units

Contractor(s): Grumman - USA
National flag of the United States

[ United States ]
Relative Max Speed
Hi: 300mph
Lo: 150mph
Aircraft Max Listed Speed (264mph).

Graph Average of 225 MPH.
Era Crossover
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Showcasing Aircraft Era Crossover (if any)
Max Alt Visualization
Small airplane graphic
Production Comparison
147
36183
44000
Entry compared against Ilyushin IL-2 (military) and Cessna 172 (civilian) total production.
MACH Regime (Sonic)
Sub
Trans
Super
Hyper
HiHyper
ReEntry
RANGES (MPH) Subsonic: <614mph | Transonic: 614-921 | Supersonic: 921-3836 | Hypersonic: 3836-7673 | Hi-Hypersonic: 7673-19180 | Reentry: >19030
Aviation Timeline
EarlyYrs
WWI
Interwar
WWII
ColdWar
Postwar
Modern
Future
1 / 10
Image of the Grumman F3F
Image copyright www.MilitaryFactory.com; No Reproduction Permitted.
2 / 10
Image of the Grumman F3F
Image copyright www.MilitaryFactory.com; No Reproduction Permitted.
3 / 10
Image of the Grumman F3F
Image copyright www.MilitaryFactory.com; No Reproduction Permitted.
4 / 10
Image of the Grumman F3F
Image copyright www.MilitaryFactory.com; No Reproduction Permitted.
5 / 10
Image of the Grumman F3F
Image copyright www.MilitaryFactory.com; No Reproduction Permitted.
6 / 10
Image of the Grumman F3F
Image copyright www.MilitaryFactory.com; No Reproduction Permitted.
7 / 10
Image of the Grumman F3F
Image copyright www.MilitaryFactory.com; No Reproduction Permitted.
8 / 10
Image of the Grumman F3F
Image copyright www.MilitaryFactory.com; No Reproduction Permitted.
9 / 10
Image of the Grumman F3F
Image copyright www.MilitaryFactory.com; No Reproduction Permitted.
10 / 10
Image of the Grumman F3F
Image copyright www.MilitaryFactory.com; No Reproduction Permitted.

Mission Roles
Some designs are single-minded in their approach while others offer a more versatile solution to airborne requirements.
AIR-TO-AIR COMBAT
MARITIME / NAVY
Recognition
Some designs stand the test of time while others are doomed to never advance beyond the drawing board; let history be their judge.
Going Further...
The Grumman F3F Carrier-based Biplane Fighter Aircraft appears in the following collections:
HOME
AVIATION INDEX
AIRCRAFT BY COUNTRY
AIRCRAFT MANUFACTURERS
COMPARE AIRCRAFT
AIRCRAFT BY CONFLICT
AIRCRAFT BY TYPE
AIRCRAFT BY DECADE
GOLDEN AGE AIRCRAFT
WWII AIRCRAFT
Disclaimer | Privacy Policy | Cookies

2024 Military Pay Scale Military Ranks U.S. DoD Dictionary Conversion Calculators Military Alphabet Code Military Map Symbols US 5-Star Generals WW2 Weapons by Country

The "Military Factory" name and MilitaryFactory.com logo are registered ® U.S. trademarks protected by all applicable domestic and international intellectual property laws. All written content, illustrations, and photography are unique to this website (unless where indicated) and not for reuse/reproduction in any form. Material presented throughout this website is for historical and entertainment value only and should not to be construed as usable for hardware restoration, maintenance, or general operation. We do not sell any of the items showcased on this site. Please direct all other inquiries to militaryfactory AT gmail.com. No A.I. was used in the generation of this content.

Part of a network of sites that includes Global Firepower, WDMMA.org, WDMMW.org, and World War Next.


©2024 www.MilitaryFactory.com • All Rights Reserved • Content ©2003-2024 (21yrs)