RAY CRUPI COLLECTION
No. 12453. Grumman G-8 F2F-1 (9624) US Navy
Aeroplane Photo Supply (APS) Photo No. 693

Grumman G-8 F2F-1

07/31/2014. Remarks by Johan Visschedijk: "Successful testing of the Grumman XFF-1 led to a new USN contract on November 2, 1932, for a prototype single-seat fighter designated XF2F-1. The configuration was the same as that for the FF-1, but as this was a single-seater, the overall dimensions were reduced. Location of the main wheel wells in the forward fuselage, however, gave the aircraft a very squat appearance which was to be a characteristic of Grumman types for many years to come.

First flown on October 18, 1933, the XF2F-1 (BuNo. 9342) had fabric-covered wings and a metal fuselage skin. It was powered by a two-row Pratt & Whitney R-1535-44 engine with a distinctive tapered cowling, and carried an armament of two 0.30 in (7.62 mm) guns in the forward fuselage, firing through the propeller disc. Like the FF-1, the new prototype had an enclosed cockpit, the first Navy single-seater to enjoy this refinement. The prototype demonstrated a top speed of 229 mph (367 kmh) at 8,000 ft (2,438 m) and an initial rate of climb of more than 3,000 ft (914 m)/min.

A production contract for 54 F2F-1s (BuNo. 9623 to 9676) with 700 hp R-1535-72 engines was awarded in 1934 (plus one replacement in 1935, BuNo. 9997). Deliveries of the F2F-1s began early in 1935.

By mid-1935, VF-2B (the famous Fighting Two squadron) on USS Lexington and VF-3B on USS Ranger were flying the new biplane. Fighting Two, continuously on the Lexington, retained their Grumman Flying Barrels until 1940, VF-3B became VF-7B on USS Yorktown and then VF-5 on the Wasp, taking its F2Fs with it; they were replaced by F3Fs in 1939, and the older fighters passed into use as gunnery trainers attached to Naval Air Stations and patrol wings.

Created July 31, 2014