Naval Aircraft Factory N3N
|US Marine Corps N3N-3 over Parris Island, 1942|
|National origin||United States|
|Manufacturer||Naval Aircraft Factory|
|First flight||August 1935|
|Primary user||U.S. Navy|
The Naval Aircraft Factory N3N was a United States two tandem-seat, open cockpit, primary training biplane aircraft built by the Naval Aircraft Factory (N.A.F.) in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania during the 1930s.
Development and design
Built to replace the Consolidated NY-2 and NY-3, the N3N was successfully tested as both a conventional airplane and a seaplane. The seaplane used a single float under the fuselage and floats under the outer tips of the lower wing. The conventional airplane used a fixed landing gear. The prototype XN3N-1 was powered by a radial Wright designed Wright J-5 engine. An order for 179 production aircraft was received. Near the end of the first production run the engine was replaced with the Wright R-760-2 Whirlwind radial. The aircraft is completely metal using bolts and rivets rather than the more common welded steel tubing fuselages. Early production models used aluminum stringers formed for cancelled airship construction orders.
The N.A.F. delivered 997 N3N aircraft beginning in 1935. They included 180 N3N-1s and 816 N3N-3s. Four N3N-3s were delivered to the United States Coast Guard in 1941. Production ended in January 1942 but the type remained in use through the rest of World War II. The N3N was the last biplane in US military service - the last (used by the U.S. Naval Academy for aviation familiarization) were retired in 1961. The N3N was also unique in that it was an aircraft designed and manufactured by an aviation firm wholly owned and operated by the U.S. government (the Navy, in this case) as opposed to private industry. For this purpose, the U.S. Navy bought the rights and the tooling for the Wright R-760 series engine and produced their own engines. These Navy built engines were installed on Navy built airframes.
Postwar, many surviving aircraft were sold on the US civil aircraft market and bought for operation by agricultural aerial spraying firms and private pilot owners. A number are still (2014) active in the USA.
- First prototype aircraft, Bureau of Aeronautics number 9991.
- Two-seat primary trainer biplane, powered by a 220-hp (164-kW) Wright J-5 radial piston engine. 179 were built.
- One prototype only (Bureau number 0265) powered by a 240-hp (179-kW) Wright R-760-96 radial piston engine.
- One production N3N-1 (0020) was converted into a 'dash three' prototype.
- Two-seat primary trainer biplane, powered by a 235-hp (175-kW) Wright R-760-2 Whirlwind 7 radial piston engine. 816 built.
- Paraguayan Naval Aviation Two N3N-3s received by Lend-Lease Program.
Aircraft on Display
- National Air and Space Museum - Udvar Hazy Center, Chantilly Virginia
- National Museum of Naval Aviation, Pensacola Florida
- Kalamazoo Aviation History Museum, Kalamazoo Michigan
- USS Lexington Museum, Corpus Christi Texas
- Western Antique Aeroplane and Automobile Museum - Hood River, Oregon
Data from Holmes, 2005. p. 96.
- Crew: 2
- Length: 25 ft 6 in (7.77 m)
- Wingspan: 34 ft 0 in (10.36 m)
- Height: 10 ft 10 in (3.3 m)
- Wing area: 305 ft2 (28.3 m2)
- Empty weight: 2,090 lb (948 kg)
- Gross weight: 2,792 lb (1,266 kg)
- Powerplant: 1 × Wright R-760-2 Whirlwind radial, 235 hp (175 kW)
- Maximum speed: 126 mph (203 km/h)
- Range: 470 miles (756 km)
- Service ceiling: 15,200 ft (4,635 m)
- Rate of climb: 900 ft/min ( m/s)
- Aircraft of comparable role, configuration and era
- Avro Cadet
- Avro Tutor
- Boeing-Stearman Kaydet
- Breda Ba.25
- Focke-Wulf Fw 44
- Polikarpov U-2
- Yokosuka K5Y
- Holmes, 2005. p. 98.
- Gene Smith (February 1989). "A Dream of Wings". Air Progress.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Naval Aircraft Factory N3N.|
- "NAVAL AIRCRAFT FACTORY N3N YELLOW PERIL", by Jack McKillop, provides a detailed description of the N3N and its development.