|Grumman TBF-1 Avenger, in early 1942 colors|
As the first US Navy type to enter service after the Pearl Harbor attack, the meaning of the surname
"Avenger" is obvious.
- Role: three-seat carrier-based torpedo bomber.
- Conception: Grumman Aircraft Engineering Corporation
- Production: 2293 TBF made by Grumman, 7546 TBM made by Eastern Aircraft.
- First flight of prototype: XTBF-1: November, 1941
The Avenger first saw action during the Battle of Midway, however all but one of these early production
planes were shot down on that day. By 1944, torpedo-bombing had proved less effective and more dangerous than either level or dive bombing;
and the TBF/TBM ended the war in composite squadrons, flying alongside
FM-2 Wildcats, mainly in the anti-submarine role.
In 1942, Grumman lacked the industrial facilities to continue building the
F4F Wildcat fighter and Avenger torpedo bomber and start
producing the new F6F Hellcat.
Production of the F4F and Avenger was therefore transferred to
Eastern Aircraft, the F4F becoming the FM and the TBF becoming the TBM.
Grumman TBF-1C Avenger
Wright R-2600 Double Cyclone 14 cylinder radial
empty: 4,580 kg (10,100 lb) - loaded: 6,215 kg (13,700 lb)
upper ball: one 12.7mm (.50 cal) gun;
lower tail: one 7.7mm (.30 cal) gun operated by the radioman.
Two 455 kg (1,000 lb) bombs, or one torpedo.
Max speed: 440 km/h (270 mph)
Stof's notes about this plane in iMOL's WarBirds
The opinions expressed below are only my own, and nothing more...
With the Zero, Val,
Dauntless and Avenger, we have everything we need now for
some great 1942-1943 "Carrier war" scenarios.
- The TBF, like all Grumman planes, is rugged and resistant to gunfire.
- The two rear-facing guns are not much more than a nuisance for attacking fighters.
- The weakest point of the plane is the way it has to be used: very low and very slow, or the torpedo
won't work... but it's of course the same for any torpedo plane.
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(Picture from "Le Fana de l'Aviation" HS n°5)