|A F2F-1 of VF-5B, the ‘Red Rippers’.|
|Designed by||Leroy Grumman|
|Primary user||United States Navy|
|Unit cost||$12,000 as of 1935|
|Developed from||Grumman FF|
The Grumman F2F was a single-engine, biplane fighter aircraft with retractable undercarriage, serving as the standard fighter for the United States Navy between 1936 and 1940. It was designed by Grumman Aircraft Engineering Corporation for both carrier- and land-based operations.
Grumman's success with the two-seat FF-1, which was significantly faster than even the single-seat fighters of its time, resulted in a contract for the single-seat XF2F-1. Armed with two .30 caliber (7.62 mm) machine guns above the cowl, the new design also incorporated watertight compartments to reduce weight and improve survivability in the event of a water landing. The prototype first flew on 18 October 1933, equipped with the experimental 625 hp (466 kW) XR-1534-44 Twin Wasp Junior radial engine, and reached a top speed of 229 mph (369 km/h) at 8,400 ft (2,560 m) - 22 mph (35 km/h) faster than the FF-1 at the same altitude. Maneuverability also proved superior to the earlier two-seat aircraft.
The Navy ordered 54 F2F-1 fighters on 17 May 1934, with the first aircraft delivered on 1935-01-19. An additional aircraft was ordered to replace one which crashed on 16 March 1935, bringing the total to 55, and the final F2F-1 was delivered on 2 August 1935.
The F2F-1 had a relatively long service life for the time, serving in front-line squadrons from 1935 to late 1939, when squadrons began to receive the F3F-3 as a replacement. By September 1940, the F2F had been completely replaced in fighter squadrons and was relegated to training and utility duties.
Specifications (Grumman F2F-1)
- Cacutt, Len, ed. “Grumman Single-Seat Biplane Fighters.” Great Aircraft of the World. London: Marshall Cavendish, 1989. p. 155-162. ISBN 1-85435-250-4.
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