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Boeing F2B-1, Photo by U.S. Navy
Role Carrier-based Fighter
Manufacturer Boeing
First flight 3 November 1926
Introduced 20 January 1928
Primary users U.S. Navy
Japan, Brazil
Number built 32 plus 1 prototype
Developed from Boeing XP-8

The Boeing F2B was an biplane fighter aircraft of the United States Navy of the 1920s, familiar to aviation fans of the era as the craft of the Three Sea Hawks aerobatic flying team, famous for its tied-together formation flying.[1]



Initially the Boeing Model 69, it was inspired by the results of tests on the FB-6, which was powered by a Pratt & Whitney R-1340B Wasp radial engine. Boeing set out to use this engine in a fighter designed specifically for carrier operations, using the same welded-tubing fuselage and wooden-frame wings as for the Model 15, and adding a large spinner to reduce air drag around the engine (this was dropped in production). Armament was either two .30 cal. machine guns, or one .30 cal. and one .50 cal.; the lower wing had attachments for up to four 25-pound bombs, plus a fifth could be hung from the fuselage.[2]

Operational history

First flight was November 3, 1926. The Navy acquired the prototype as XF2B-1, which was capable of reaching speeds of 154 mph, and was sufficiently impressed to order 32 F2B-1s. In addition to omission of the spinner, the production versions also had a balanced rudder. Delivery began January 20, 1928, with some assigned to fighter squadron VF-1B and others to bomber squadron VF-2B, both operating from USS Saratoga (CV-3).[2]

Although the Navy did not order any more F2Bs, Boeing built two more, as Model 69Bs, exporting one to Brazil and the other to Japan.[2]


Model 69
XF2B-1, one prototype serial number A7385[1]
Model 69
F2B-1, single-seat fighter biplane for the US Navy, seral numbers A7424-A7455[1]
Model 69B
Two aircraft, generally similar to the F2B-1, one each to Brazil and Japan.[3]


 United States

Specifications (F2B-1)

Data from "The Complete Encyclopedia of World Aircraft" [4]

General characteristics

  • Crew: 1
  • Length: 22 ft 11 in (6.98 m)
  • Wingspan: 30 ft 1 in (9.17 m)
  • Height: 9 ft 2.25 in (2.81 m)
  • Wing area: 243 ft² (22.57 m²)
  • Empty weight: 1,989 lb (902 kg)
  • Max takeoff weight: 2,805 lb (1,272 kg)
  • Powerplant:Pratt & Whitney R-1340-8 Wasp Radial, 425 hp (317 kW)



  • Guns: One 0.5 in (12.7mm) M2 Browning and one 0.3 in (7.62mm) forward firing M1919 Browning machine guns or two 0.3 in forward firing machine guns in the forward fuselage
  • Bombs: Five 25 lb (11.3 kg) bombs carried under the fuselage and lower wing


  1. ^ a b c Swanborough, and Bowers 1976
  2. ^ a b c Jones 1977, p. 47-49.
  3. ^ Eden and Moeng 2002, p. 319.
  4. ^ Eden and Moeng 2002, p. 319.
  • Eden, Paul and Moeng, Soph. The Complete Encyclopedia of World Aircraft. London: Amber Books Ltd., 2002. ISBN 0-7607-3432-1.
  • Jones, Lloyd S. U.S. Naval Fighters. Fallbrook CA: Aero Publishers, 1977. ISBN 0-8168-9254-7.
  • Swanborough, Gordon and Bowers, Peter M. United States Navy Aircraft Since 1911. Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, 1976. ISBN 0-87021-968-5.

External links

See also

Related lists



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