Grumman TBF/TBM Avenger

Among the Grumman Company's outstanding contributions to naval aviation, the Avenger perhaps holds the honor of being the most versatile. It was in squadron from March 1942 until October 1954, a shorter time than some other aircraft, but during those years it served as a torpedo bomber, an ASW aircraft, and the Navy's first carrier-based AEW plane; there was also a modification for night operations, one for radar countermeasures, and another for Carrier Onboard Delivery.

The contract of 8 April 1940 which the Navy awarded to Grumman was for the company's first attack aircraft. Until that time, Grumman's work for the Navy had been entirely with fighters. The first flight of the mid-wing monoplane, three-place, torpedo bomber occurred on 7 August 1941. During the Second World War, the Avenger was produced by Grumman as the TBF and by the Eastern Aircraft Division of General Motors as the TBM. Grumman produced a total of 2,290 aircraft, Eastern produced 7,546 aircraft. The last delivery to the Navy was made in September 1945.

The TBF-1 could carry up to 2,000 pounds of torpedoes or bombs in the bomb bay. It had a dorsal turret with a .50 caliber gun at the after end of the cockpit, a forward-firing .30 caliber gun at the nose cowling and another .30 caliber gun located ventrally facing aft. The TBF-1 was powered by a single 1700 horsepower Wright R-2600-8 engine.

The XTBF-3 was developed to provide the Avenger with the 1900 horsepower Wright 2600-20 engine. The production version of the XTBF-3 was never produced in its F designation but was built by Eastern as the TBM-3. The TBM-3's range was from 1,130 to 2,530 statute miles and an average speed of 150 mph.

The TBM-3 had a length of 40 feet 11 ½ inches, a height of 16 feet 9 inches. The wing span was 54 feet 2 inches (folded size was 19 feet).

Model Designations Accepted from Manufacturer (New Builds)

Other Designations

Line drawing of an Avenger

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