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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 U.S. Navy
Number built 74 including the prototype[1]
Developed from F2B-1 & 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 developmentEdit

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 historyEdit

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]


US flag 48 stars.svg 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 (10.06 m)
  • Height: 9 ft 2 in (2.79 m)
  • Wing area: 275 ft² (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 (137 knots, 253 km/h)
  • Cruise speed: 131 mph (114 knots, 211 km/h)
  • Range: 340 mi (296 nm, 547 km)
  • Service ceiling: 21,500 ft (6,555 m)
  • Rate of climb: 2,020 ft/min (10.26 m/s)</ul>Armament
  • 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 alsoEdit



  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 Swanborough and Bowers 1976, p. 61.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Jones 1977, pp. 60–62.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 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 linksEdit

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