Naval Aircraft Factory.


10 February 2009
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Once upon a time I gave an information to that project of Seversky's naval fighter NF-1
had to be developed under designation XFN-1 by NAF. There are still doubts about the question ...
Never mind.
Doubts spread :
We all know of PN famous reco series, then P2N, then P4N ; what about P3N ?
Let's take the NAF trainers, we have N1, then N2N, N3N, N5N ; what about N4N ?
Looking for NAF aircraft I heard of utility role JN. Mystery plane, isn't it ?
Rest : LRN, LR2N, NM, NO, OSN, OS2N, SBN, SON, TN, T2N, TDN, TD2N, TD3N ... is well known.
A few sources list the designation N4N-1 as reserved but not used. The JN designation for a NAF utility is very interesting ... a mystery indeed!

On the NF-1/XFN-1 connundrum, Jos Heyman and Andreas Parsch said that the two designations are unrelated. XFN-1 was for a cancelled single-seat fighter project (serial A8978) while NF-1 seems to have been an internal Seversky designation for the SEV-1 as evaluated by the USN.

Maybe a Naval Aircraft Factory entry in the Designation section would be a good idea?
Here is what I got on NAF aircraft: (Sorry for some of the missing dashes - , something about transferring data)

N = Naval Aircraft Factory (1922 1945)

A tandem two seat bomber, the XBN-1, which was given serial A8643, was cancelled before completion.

The XFN-1 was a projected single seat fighter of which one was ordered with serial A8978 but which was subsequently cancelled.

The LRN design was a 12 seat transport glider that also was considered as a bomb glider as well as a 300 gallons fuel glider. Two XLRN-1s were ordered on 29 June 1942 with serials 36431/36432. The first aircraft was towed behind a PBY-5 in October 1944 but was found to lack stability and further development was cancelled before a free flight was made. The second aircraft was not completed.

The XLR2N-1 was the design for a 24 seat single hull amphibious glider based on the XLRG-1 or the XLRH-1. The requirements were called into question and further development was cancelled in 1943.

Two XNM-1s were ordered in April 1922 with serials A6450 and A6451 but only the first one was built which flew on 13 December 1924. The aircraft were built of duralumin and suffered corrosion problems.


The designation NN was not assigned in the Naval Aircraft Factory series.

A two seat primary trainer, three were ordered as N2N-1 with serials A6693/6695. They were later redesignated as XN2N-1.

The N3N primary trainer was used by the US Navy from 1935 to 1961.
One XN3N-1 prototype was ordered on 9 February 1935 with serial 9991 and flew for the first time on 18 March 1936. The initial production version was ordered from 30 April 1935 as N3N-1 and 180 were built with serials 0017/0101, 0644/0723 and 0952/0966 whilst a batch with serials 0426/0450 was cancelled. Some aircraft were fitted with Wright R 760 8 engines and eventually all were re-engined with R 760 2 engines.
The XN3N-2 was a version with a Wright R 760 96 engine of which one was built with serial 0265 and flew for the first time on 11 August 1936.
An N3N-1 was re engined with a R 760 2 engine as XN3N-3 (serial 0020). The next production version was the N3N-3 which was similar to the XN3N-3. First ordered on 21 June 1939, 816 were built with serials 1759/1808, 1908/2007, 2573/3072 and 4352/4517. Four of these were transferred to the USCG where they received serials V193/196.

No data is available on this aircraft.

A single XN5N-1 monoplane basic trainer was ordered in August 1938 with serial 1521. The first flight was in April 1941.

The NO-1 was a three seat twin float aircraft which was produced in quantity by Martin as MO. Three NO-1s were ordered in 1924 and built by NAF with serials A6431/6433. LWF built another 21 with serials A6663/6683 whilst a batch with serials A6684/6688 was cancelled. NO-1 A6433 was later modified as NO-2.

The XO2N-1 was an observation aircraft of which one was ordered with serial 0385 but which was redesignated as XOSN-1 before completion.

The XO2N-1 was redesignated as XOSN-1 and flew in 1938. The serial was 0385.

The NAF built 300 Vought OS2U-3s under licence as OS2N-1 and with serials 01216/01515. The order was placed on 30 January 1941.

The PN series flying boats were based on the Curtiss F 5 design and apart from being produced by NAF was produced by Douglas, Hall, Keystone and Martin as well as other manufacturers.
The designations PN-1 to PN-4 had not been assigned and the first version built by NAF was the PN 5 which designation was applied to those F-5L aircraft ordered after 29 March 1922, the date the designation was introduced. (F-5Ls built before that date were not redesignated) The F 5L/PN 5 was built by NAF (134), Curtiss (60) and Canadian Aeroplanes (30) whilst four were built from parts. Large numbers were cancelled. Serials included A3333/3362, A3559/3615, A3659/3683, A3783/3800, A3859/3880, A3882, A3936/3940, A4009/4013, A4038, A4281/4340, A6557/6559 and A6697. The cancelled aircraft had serials A3363/3382, A3616/3658, A3684/3782, A3801/3858, A3881, A3883/3935, A3941/4008, A4014/4035, A4470/4819 and A5259/5458.
The F 6L version was designated as PN 6 on 29 March 1922 and, like the F 5L, existing aircraft were not redesignated. Two were built outright with this designation with serials A4036/4037. In addition a number of PN 5s were converted to this standard which incorporated a redesigned vertical tail.
The PN 7 had a redesigned wing and the span was reduced to 72'10", 22.20 m, the length was 49'1", 14.96 m whilst the engines were 2 Wright T 2s. Two aircraft were built with serials A6616/6617. The order was placed in January 1923 and the first flight was in November 1923.
The PN 8 had a length of 49'2", 14.99 m and was fitted with 2 Packard 1A 2500 engine. Ordered in June 1924, the design was fitted with a Duralumin hull. Two aircraft with serials A6799 and A6878 were built, the first one delivered on 8 May 1925. A6878 was converted as PN 9 before completion and flew for the first time in April 1925. A6799 was initially completed as PN 8 but when vibration tests indicated problems further tests were abandoned and the aircraft was completed as PN 9.
The PN 9 version was fitted with Packard 1A 1500 engines and different tail surfaces.
The PN 10 designation was assigned to four aircraft which were similar to the PN 8 but had each different engines fitted: Packard 1A 1500, Packard 3A 1500, Wright R 1820 as well as Pratt & Whitney R 1690. The first two aircraft were completed with wooden wings whilst the second two aircraft had metal wings. The aircraft were ordered in May 1925 and the first flight was on 21 June 1926. The serials were A7028/7029 and A7383/7384.
Ultimately A7384 and A7383 were redesignated as PN 12 and flew for the first time in December 1927.
Data on the PN 11 is confusing and is believed that four different aircraft carried the PN 11 designation at the same time:
• A7527: only designated as PN 11 and fitted with 2 Wright R 1750D engines. This aircraft was ordered on 19 April 1927 and the first flight was in October 1928.
• A8006: delivered as PN 11 but redesignated as XPN 11 in July 1930 and fitted with 2 Pratt & Whitney R 1690 engines. It was ordered in January 1928 and flew for the first time in April 1929. Eventually it was redesignated as XP4N 1.
• A8483: initially ordered as XP2N 1, then redesignated as PN 11 and redesignated as XP4N 2 on 31 March 1929. Fitted with Wright R 1820E engines
• A8484: as for A8483.

The P2N designation was first to be used for the Curtiss NC flying boats but never used as such. It was then assigned to aircraft which were ordered as XP2N 1 with serials A8483/8484 but which were redesignated as PN 11 before completion.


The designation P3N was not assigned in the Naval Aircraft Factory series.

It has been suggested that PN 11 A8006 was designated as XP4N 1 although US Naval Aviation lists the serial A8482 as being a XP4N 1. There is no evidence to suggest that A8006 was actually completed as XP4N 1.
The XP4N 2 designation was applied to PN 11 A8483/8484 on 31 May 1929.

The PBN 1 was a licence built version of the PBY 5 Catalina but with a longer hull and a taller fin. 155 were built with serials 02791/02945 whilst 02946 was a rebuilt aircraft. Only 17 were delivered to the US Navy, the remainder intended to go to the RAF as Catalina V but instead diverted to Russia. A batch with serials 35798/35921 was cancelled.

Designed by Brewster as model 38, and built as XSBA 1 prototype by Brewster, production of this two seat scout bomber was undertaken by NAF as SBN 1. 30 were ordered on 29 September 1938 with serials 1522/1551 but eventually they were used in training roles only.

The SON 1 was a licence version of the Curtiss SOC 3 and 44 were built with serials 1147/1190. The order was placed on 10 June 1937 and the first flight was on 15 September 1938. A few of the aircraft were eventually converted as SON 1A for carrier duties.

The XTN 1 was a prototype of which one was ordered in May 1925 with serial A7027. Production was undertaken by Douglas as T2D 1.

Based on BuAer design 77, NAF built one XT2N 1 against an order placed on 18 June 1925. The serial was A8052 and the first flight was in March 1930. Production was undertaken by Martin as BM.

A TV guided flying bomb. Four XTDN 1s were ordered on 14 February 1942 with serials 27853/27856. These were fitted with Franklin XO 300 engines. The first flight was on 15 November 1942. On 23 March 1942 100 production TDN 1s were ordered with serials 17292/17391 but the programme was cancelled in late 1944. Some reference sources suggest that some or all aircraft were produced by NAF as well as subconstractors which included Singer and Brunswick-Balke-Collender, with the latter firm completing the last thirty TDN-1s.
Some reference sources have suggested that 114 aircraft were produced.

The TD2N 1 was a radio piloted vehicle based on the Gorgon IIIB, of which 35 were ordered in April 1945.
Drop tests commenced in June 1945 and the first free flight took place on 27 June 1945. The programme was cancelled on 12 March 1946 by which time 9 had been delivered. It was redesignated as KDN.

The TD3N-1 was a radio piloted vehicle of which eight were built. It was based on the Gorgon IIC vehicle and was eventually redesignated as KD2N.

Undesignated NAF aircraft

An aircraft design of which the US Navy ordered two BS.1s with serials A6289/6290, two BS.2s with serials A6291/6292, two BS.3s with serials A6293/6294 and another five aircraft with serials A6295/6299 of unspecified sub type. All aircraft were subsequently cancelled.

NAF Free balloon
Two free balloons were built for the US Navy with serials A6445 and A6527. A6445 was procured for racing in 1922.

Also called the Giant Boat, this tri plane flying boat had three nacelles of three engines each. One aircraft was ordered by the US Navy with serial A6059 and construction was commenced in July 1920. In 1922, with the aircraft partially completed, further work was cancelled.

The N.1 was a aircraft carrying a Davis gun. Two were procured by the US Navy with serials A4341/4342 and another 10 with serials A5030/5039 were cancelled. In addition two aircraft with serials A2282/2283 were identified as Davis N.1.
Production of 2284 aircraft was cancelled.

The PT.1 was a patrol flying boat using the fuselage of a Curtiss R.6 and the wing of a HS.1L. 15 aircraft were built for the US Navy with serials A6034/6048. The PT.2 version had a HS.2L wing with a span of 74'1", 22.58 m, fitted and 18 were built with serials A6326/6343.

The SA.1 was a ship borne aircraft of which the US Navy procured two in 1919 with serials A5570/5571. At the same time two examples of the SA.2 were procured with serials A5572/5573.

The Tandem Fighter was a patrol boat which could also be used as a fighter.
Four aircraft were procured by the US Navy with serials A5576/5579. The first flight was in October 1920 and the last aircraft was fitted with Packard engines. It has also been suggested that the last aircraft (A5579) was not completed.

The TG series was a gunnery training aircraft. In total five were built and sometimes the first three are referred to as TG.1 and the remainder as TG.2 whilst other reference sources identify each aircraft individually as TG.1 to TG.5, and not necessarily in that order. The serials were A6344/6348. The TG.3 (A6346) and TG.4 (A6347) were fitted with an Aeromarine T6 engine whilst the TG.5 (A6348) was fitted with a Wright Hispano E4.
Possibly more info here?

Trimble, William F. Wings for the Navy: A History of the Naval Aircraft Factory, 1917-1956. Annapolis: Naval Institute Press, 1990. 413 pp.
Excellent. Thanks Jos!

Attached is a list of the Naval Aircraft Factory's built aircraft (mostly based on a list by Mark E. Gindele)

Apologies for the display -- usual story with tabs disappearing, etc.

N-1 Pusher 1918 4 1 360 94 5,900
H-16 Flying Boat 1918-19 150 2 720 87 10,900
F5L Flying Boat 1918-19 138 2 720 89 13,000 Curtiss
SA-1/-2 Reconnaissance 1919 4 1 55 70 810
NC5 -10 Flying Boat 1920-21 6 4 600 85 28,000
HS-3 Patrol Bomber 1920 2 1 360 89 6,432
MF Flying Boat 1920 80 1 100 73 2,488
VE-7 Trainer 1921 140 1 180 115 2,100
M-80 High wing monoplane 1921 36 1 300 145 2,068
PT-1 Seaplane 1922 15 1 400 96 6,789
TS-1, -2, -3 Fighter 1923 10 1 200 131 1,913 Curtiss
TR-1, -2 Racer 1922-23 2 1 200 127 1,720 NAF-Curtiss
ZR-1 Shenandoah airship 1923 1 6 1,800 60
TF Seaplane 1920-23 4 2 600 107 8,846
PT-2 Seaplane 1923 18 1 400 100 7,055
DT-2 Torpedo Plane 1923 24 1 450 104 6,502 Douglas
DT-4 Tractor Biplane 1924 5 1 520 107 6,833
PN-7, -8, -9, -10, -11, -12,
Patrol Flying Boats 1924-28 10 2 1050 128 16,870
TG-1, -2, -3, -4, -5 Series
Trainer 1924 5 1 200 97 2,953
NO-1 Observation 1924 3 1 350 104 4,842
N2N-1 Trainer 1924 3 1 200 106 2,640
NM-1 Biplane 1925 1 1 325 108 4,440
XTN-1 Observation Scout, Torpedo
1927 1 2 880 123 10,535
SP Mercury Racer 1929 1 1 1,300 - 5,000
XT2N-1 Dive Bomber 1929 1 1 525 144 5,282
XP4N-1 -2 Patrol 1931 3 2 1,150 115 17,595 redesig. P2N
N3N-1 Trainer 1937-38 185 1 220 116 2,770
XOSN-1 Observation Scout 1939 1 1 550 160 5,412
SON-1 Scout Observation 1939 44 1 550 165 5,287 Curtiss Seagull
N3N-3 Trainer 1940-42 817 1 235 121 2,940
XN5N-1 Trainer 1941 1 1 320 135 3,370
SBN-1 Scout Bomber 1942 30 1 850 237 5,972 Brewster SBA
OS2N-1 Scout Observ'n 1942 300 1 400 165 5,600 Vought OS2U
TDN-1 flying bomb 1942 70 2 440 145 6,800
XLRN-1 Transport glider 1942 1 0 0 180 37,764
PBN-1 Patrol Bomber 1943-44 156 2 2,100 175 36,353 Nomad (PBY)
KU2N-1 RC missile 1945 1 Rocket Power 500+ - Gorgon, Martin-NAF
From a period of time I'm looking for more informations of NAF XJN-1
which has to be an experimental utility amphibian ; all I know about it.
Gentlemen, there is already a Naval Aircraft Factory designation
thread in the Designation System chapter.

Please continue with with your information about the NAF designations in this department.

Edit: Threads merged
This aircraft is described as the PT-P. Commonly known as the Curtiss PT-2?



  • U.S. NAVY CURTISS PT-P 1921b.jpg
    U.S. NAVY CURTISS PT-P 1921b.jpg
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  • U.S. NAVY CURTISS PT-P 1921d.jpg
    U.S. NAVY CURTISS PT-P 1921d.jpg
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