Boeing F3B

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Boeing F3B.jpg
Boeing F3B-1, U.S. Navy Photo
Role Carrier-based Fighter-Bomber
Manufacturer Boeing
First flight 3 February 1928
Introduction August 1928[1]
Primary user United States Navy
Number built 74 including the prototype[1]
Developed from Boeing F2B, FB-5

The Boeing F3B was a biplane fighter and fighter bomber that served with the United States Navy from 1928 into the early 1930s.

Design and development[edit]

Designed by the company as its Model 74, the plane was an incremental improvement over the F2B. The Navy-designated prototype XF3B-1 still had the tapered wings of the F2B for instance, but was built as a single-float seaplane using the FB-5 undercarriage. However, the growing use of aircraft carriers took away most of the need for floating fighters, and by the time other test results had been taken into account, the production F3B-1 (Model 77) had a larger upper wing that was slightly swept back and a redesigned tail with surfaces made from corrugated aluminum.[2] It also eliminated the spreader bar arrangement of the undercarriage and revised the vertical tail shape.[3]

Operational history[edit]

It first flew on 3 February 1928, turning in a respectable performance and garnering Boeing a contract for 73 more. F3Bs served as fighter-bombers for some four years with the squadrons VF-2B aboard USS Langley, VB-2B aboard USS Saratoga (later VF-6B), and VB-1B on USS Lexington,[1][3] during which period some were fitted with Townend rings and others with streamlined wheel fairings.[2] The aircraft remained in first-line service to 1932 and were then retained as "hacks" (command and staff transports) for several more years.[3]


(Model 74) One prototype serial number A7674[1]
(Model 77) Single-seat fighter biplane for the US Navy, 73 aircraft serial numbers A7675-A7691; A7708-A7763[1]


 United States

Specifications (F3B-1)[edit]

Data from The Complete Encyclopedia of World Aircraft [3]

General characteristics

  • Crew: 1
  • Length: 24 ft 10 in (7.57 m)
  • Wingspan: 33 ft 0 in (10.06 m)
  • Height: 9 ft 2 in (2.79 m)
  • Wing area: 275 sq ft (25.55 m2)
  • Empty weight: 2,179 lb (988 kg)
  • Max takeoff weight: 2,945 lb (1,336 kg)
  • Powerplant: 1 × Pratt & Whitney R-1340-80 Wasp radial engine, 425 hp (317 kW)


  • Maximum speed: 157 mph (253 km/h, 137 kn)
  • Cruise speed: 131 mph (211 km/h, 114 kn)
  • Range: 340 mi (547 km, 296 nmi)
  • Service ceiling: 21,500 ft (6,555 m)
  • Rate of climb: 2,020 ft/min (10.26 m/s)


  • Guns: Two 0.3 in (7.62mm) forward firing Browning machine guns in the forward fuselage
  • Bombs: Five 25 lb (11.3 kg) bombs carried under the fuselage and lower wing

See also[edit]

Related development

Related lists



  1. ^ a b c d e Swanborough and Bowers 1976, p. 61.
  2. ^ a b Jones 1977, pp. 60–62.
  3. ^ a b c d Eden and Moeng 2002, p. 319.


  • Eden, Paul and Soph Moeng, eds. The Complete Encyclopedia of World Aircraft. London: Amber Books, 2002. ISBN 0-7607-3432-1.
  • Jones, Lloyd S. U.S. Naval Fighters. Fallbrook, California: Aero Publishers, 1977. ISBN 0-8168-9254-7.
  • Swanborough, Gordon and Peter M. Bowers. United States Navy Aircraft Since 1911. Annapolis, Maryland: Naval Institute Press, 1976. ISBN 0-87021-968-5.

External links[edit]