Grumman F3F Flying Barrel

     The first fighter aircraft produced by Grumman Aircraft and Engineering Corporation for the Navy, the FF-1 "Fifi", was followed in 1935 by the F2F. The last aircraft of the F2F contract was completed as the XF3F-1 prototype and ultimately delivered as the F3F-1 in 1936 and stayed in fleet service until 1940. The F3F-2 series were equipped with the 950 hp Wright R-1820-22 engine and a three blade propeller for improved performance. Eighty one F3F-2s were ordered and used to equip VF-6 on the USS Enterprise and Marine squadrons VMF-1 and VMF-2 in 1938.
    Without making a major airframe redesign, the F3F-2 was modified with small flaps, a tighter cowling and revised leading edges and redesignated as the F3F-3. The flaps enabled slower approach and landing speeds while the other modifications increased overall performance. Maneuverability was also improved by increasing the wing span. Twenty seven F3F-3s were delivered between December 1938 and May 1939. For a time Grumman F3F-2s and F3F-3s equipped all Navy fighter squadrons. By the end of 1941 none of the Grumman biplanes were in operational use but could be found at many shore stations in various training roles.
     The National Museum of Naval Aviation F3F-2 (BuNo 0976) was found on the bottom of the Pacific Ocean in 1800 feet of water off the coast of San Diego and is the only one recovered intact and restored and would be flyable except for the engine. It was being piloted by 1st Lt. Robert E. Galer, USMC and, while making an approach for a landing on the USS Saratoga, he experienced total engine failure and had to ditch in the water. The plane was brought up to the surface in 1990 after resting on the bottom for 50 years. It was restored by the Aerospace Museum in San Diego and completed in October 1993. Lt. Galer saw service in the Battle of Guadalcanal, became a Triple Ace, received the Medal of Honor and retired as a Brigadier General.

Grumman F3F Flying Barrel - USMC
Premier Series.  1/24th scale.  17" wingspan x 12.15" long.
  No. ADN2D-GR.  Only $219.95
Grumman F3F - USN "Red Rippers"
Premier Series. Same size as above.
  No. ADN2D-BR.  Only $219.95
Grumman F3F - USN "Apache"
Premier Series.  Same size as above.
  No. ADN2D-AR.  Only $219.95
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