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F6F w/ bubble canopy

frank

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I don't think it was ever built, only a proposal, like the R-4360 powered version.



hermankeil said:
Does anyone have a photo of the experimental F6F with a bubble?
 

ltdann

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There was an alternative F6F canopy, much like the Malcom hood on the P-47 or P-51. A small number were delivered to the Royal Navy with this configuration
 
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CostasTT

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I was curious about it, so back in 2003 I contacted the late Corwin "Corky" Meyer via Flight Journal. He answered my questions on the bubbletop Hellcat, the XFTBF-1 and the lightened and extended span Avenger. Here is the part about the Hellcat and the trials in the US:
The bubble canopy that we tried unsuccessfully on the Hellcat was exactly similarto the Malcomb sliding canopy of the Spitfire. It used the same Hellcat sliding canopy structure but the plexiglass was blown out for the bubble during its manufacture.
 

famvburg

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Forerunner to the AF-1 Guardian. Duh. Misread it as XTB3F. Apologies!
 
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CostasTT

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Hardrada55 said:
OK, so I gotta ask, what's the XFTBF-1? Avenger fighter?
It was an attempt to combine the functions of the TBF/TBM and F4F/FM-1 into a single airframe for use on escort carriers. Avenger Fighter was actually its nickname, if memory serves.
Here is a picture, and also one of an RN Hellcat with a Malcolm hood - the blown bubble canopy tested in the US being similar:
 

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Silencer1

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CostasTT said:
It was an attempt to combine the functions of the TBF/TBM and F4F/FM-1 into a single airframe for use on escort carriers. Avenger Fighter was actually its nickname, if memory serves.


In US Navy aircraft naming system XFBTF should mean "Prototype of Fighter and Torpedo Bomber, made by Grumman", isn't it?
Those it mean - Single-seat "Avenger" sharing role from torpedo-bomber to fighter?
[font=verdana, arial, helvetica, sans-serif]Perhaps with the powerful engine "Avenger" could perform some maneuvers, but in my humble opinion - only against enemy attack aircraft, not capable for dogfight .[/font]

[font=verdana, arial, helvetica, sans-serif]Anyway - impressive photo, thanks for sharing![/font]
 

robunos

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Perhaps with the powerful engine "Avenger" could perform some maneuvers, but in my humble opinion - only against enemy attack aircraft, not capable for dogfight .


Oh, I don't know...
This from 'Flying for the U.S.Marines', by Warren.H.Goodman, 'Aeroplane Monthly', February 1977, page 63.

"It wasn't the most manoeuvrable airtcraft in the world by any means. I never knew anyone who dared to slow roll it or try a loop. But when you were used to it, you could do enough tight turns, chandelles and other tricks to enable you to play at dog-fighting with much lighter, faster types. We proved this when we began tangling with the P-38 pilots from a nearby Air Force base.
We couldn't climb as fast or as high as they could, but we could hold our own with them at low altitudes. We could turn inside them, and we soon discovered a trick for shaking off a P-38 when it got on oa TBF's tail. We would put down wheels and flaps at the same time. This would cut the TBF's speed by 20 to 30 kts, while increasing the altitude by about 50ft.
The P-38 would pass below you before he knew what had happened. Then you could raise the wheels and flaps, nose over, and you would be on his tail..."

cheers,
Robin.
 
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CostasTT

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Silencer1 said:
CostasTT said:
It was an attempt to combine the functions of the TBF/TBM and F4F/FM-1 into a single airframe for use on escort carriers. Avenger Fighter was actually its nickname, if memory serves.


In US Navy aircraft naming system XFBTF should mean "Prototype of Fighter and Torpedo Bomber, made by Grumman", isn't it?
Those it mean - Single-seat "Avenger" sharing role from torpedo-bomber to fighter?
Perhaps with the powerful engine "Avenger" could perform some maneuvers, but in my humble opinion - only against enemy attack aircraft, not capable for dogfight .

Anyway - impressive photo, thanks for sharing!
You are welcome. Yes, you interpreted the designation correctly as indicating a dual (multi) role aircraft.
Also, the FTBF (or FTBM, had it made it to full production by Grumman and GM respectively), would have been mostly employed against submarines - its natural role flying from escort carriers in the Atlantic) and as a fighter would have been more than able to deal with Fw 200 Condors and BV 138 flying boats. Given that the performance of a stock Avenger was comparable to that of a Fulmar Mk II, the FTBF would be a bit faster and conceivably able to deal with He 111 and Ju 88 torpedo bombers on the Arctic convoy routes.
Just for the record, here is the XFTBF part of Corky Meyer's answer to my queries:
As to the "Fighter" version of the Avenger, it was a very hurried up prototype version to see if the many smaller carriers that performed the anti submarine warfare missions in the Atlantic and Pacific oceans could have a single do both fighter and ASW missions in order to simplify all aspects of carrier warfair on these carriers like: training, maintenance, spares etc.,etc. No matter what we did to this prototype the Wildcat took much less space on these space limited carriers and the navy soon decided, as we did, that it would not work as well as the much smaller Wildcat, also in production at General Motors Lindin, New Jersey and discontinued their interest in it, too.
 

Silencer1

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Thanks all to interesting data about Grummans.


Putnam' book about Grumman aircraft contains some details about single-seat "Avenger" (BuNo 00550):
"BuNo 00550 was modified by Grumman in July 1942 to evaluate performance gains which could be derived from modifying the Avenger into a single-seater by removing dorsal turret and installing fairings aft of the
pilot's cockpit and beneath the rear fuselage".
I didn't find in this book XFTBF-1 designation though.


By the way, what ammunition set has been used by TBF in ASW missions in Atlantic?
How heavy has been it, in comparison to, say, torpedo?
And could one pilot perform such mission successfully?


I want to admit newly discovered by me story about using A-4 attackers, as carrier-defense fighters in 1950th.
http://thanlont.blogspot.ru/2014/04/cvs-carrier-self-defense.html





P.S. This thread subject at this moment doesn't related to the it's contents, so - sorry for some offtopic
 

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CostasTT

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Thanks for the bigger picture. As I recall, I saw the XFTBF-1 designation mentioned in Aerofiles.
In mid-1942 (considering that rockets were first introduced a year later and the Mark 24 mine, aka FIDO ASW torpedo was still in development and fielded in May of 1943), the primary ASW weapon would be the depth bomb (325 lb. Mark 17 or 350 lb. Mark 54) with up to 4 being carried internally, for a maximum weight of 1400 lbs (4xMark 54) - compare to the 2216 lb. weight of the Mark 13 torpedo.
The pilot's workload would be slightly heavier as he would have to handle navigation as well, but with the introduction of airborne radar an additional crewman would ideally be required, especially at night, although the pilot could conceivably handle it - witness the night fighter versions of the Hellcat and the Corsair.
Hope this helps.
 

Silencer1

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Hi CostasTT!

CostasTT said:
Hope this helps.


Thanks for comprehensive story!
Without part of their load some heavy aircraft could significantly increase their maneuverability, making a figures, not estimated to their weight and size.
Perhaps, Blue Angels' C-130 without cargo could be good example of it *-)
 

Jemiba

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Size,weight and payload of the XFTBF-1 seem to be comparable to the Boeing
XF8B, it just lacks a bit with regards to engine power. But for the limited number
of aircraft on a CVE, a multi-role type would have been probably better, than a
mixed complement. And over the North Atlantic, probably no enemy fighter could
be expected.
Have added a rough sketch of the Malcolm hood Hellcat, we had this theme before
somewhere, somewhen ...
 

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CostasTT

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Silencer1 said:
Hi CostasTT!

CostasTT said:
Hope this helps.


Thanks for comprehensive story!
Without part of their load some heavy aircraft could significantly increase their maneuverability, making a figures, not estimated to their weight and size.
Perhaps, Blue Angels' C-130 without cargo could be good example of it *-)

You are most welcome. Glad to have been of help.
Also, bear in mind that the forward-firing armament of the TBF-1 was limited to the single cowl-mounted 30 caliber machine gun. The two wing-mounted fifties first appeared operationally on the TBF/TBM-1C and would most likely be standard for the FTBF. As such, they would certainly be enough to suppress the gunners on a U-boat's conning tower during the attack run and also be reasonably effective against air targets - the very light structure and unprotected tanks of the Condor in particular would make it very easy meat for the Fighter Avenger.

Jemiba said:
Size,weight and payload of the XFTBF-1 seem to be comparable to the Boeing
XF8B, it just lacks a bit with regards to engine power. But for the limited number
of aircraft on a CVE, a multi-role type would have been probably better, than a
mixed complement. And over the North Atlantic, probably no enemy fighter could
be expected.
Have added a rough sketch of the Malcolm hood Hellcat, we had this theme before
somewhere, somewhen ...

Over the North Atlantic probably not, but over the Pacific, given the range of missions undertaken by CVEs, a true fighter was probably a necessity. The size of the Avenger would also be an issue: more aircraft could be carried/serviced efficiently on a CVE if a composite Wildcat/Avenger squadron was preferred rather than a homogenous Avenger unit.
 

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