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Fighter / Attack:
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   Grumman TBF Avenger
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   Messerschmitt Bf-109
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   North American P-51 Mustang

   Polikarpov I-16
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Trainers:
  
Beechcraft AT-11 Kansan (C-45)
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   DeHavilland DH-82 Tiger Moth
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   N. Am. BT-9 / BT-14 / Yale
   N. Am. T-6 Texan / SNJ / Harvard
   N. American T-28 Trojan

   Piaggio P149
   Ryan PT-22 Recruit

   Scottish Aviation T1 Bulldog
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   Yakovlev Yak-11
   Yakovlev Yak-18
   Yakovlev Yak-52


Bombers:
   Avro Lancaster
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   Bristol Blenheim / Bolingbroke
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   Consolidated PB4Y-2 Privateer

   Douglas A-3 Skywarrior
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   Fairey Swordfish
   Heinkel He-111 / Casa 2.111

   Lockheed PV-2 Harpoon / Ventura
   Martin B-26 Marauder
   North American B-25 Mitchell


Transports:
   Beechcraft C-45 (AT-11)

   Boeing C-97 Stratofreighter (KC-97)
   Curtiss C-46 Commando
   Douglas C-47 Skytrain / Dakota
   Douglas C-54 Skymaster

   Fairchild C-119 Flying Boxcar
   Fairchild C-123 Provider
   Grumman C-1 Trader (S-2)
   Lockheed C-60 Lodestar
   Lockheed C-69 Constellation


Utility / Observation / Special Duty:
   Aeronca L-3 Grasshopper
   Aeronca L-16 Grasshopper
   Antonov AN-2 Colt
   Auster AOP 6/9
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   Consolidated PBY Catalina

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   Lockheed P2V Neptune
   Max Holste M.H.1521 Broussard
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   Noorduyn UC-64 Norseman
   North American L-17 Navion
   N. Am./ Rockwell OV-10 Bronco
   Piper L-4 Grasshopper
   Stinson L-5 Sentinel
   Taylorcraft L-2 Grasshopper
   Westland Lysander


Jets:
   Aero L-29 Delfin
   Aero L-39 Albatros
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   Lockheed T-33 Shooting Star
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   Messerschmitt Me-262
   Mikoyan MiG-15
   Mikoyan MiG-17
   Mikoyan MiG-21
   N. Am. F-86 Sabre / FJ-4 Fury
   N. Am. F-100 Super Sabre
   N. Am. / Rockwell T-2 Buckeye
   Northrop T-38 Talon / F-5
   PZL / WSK TS-11 Iskra
   Saab J35 Draken
   Soko G-2A Galeb
   Temco Pinto & Super Pinto


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Grumman TBF Avenger

(Variants/Other Names: General Motors (Eastern Aircraft) TBM Avenger


Grumman / General Motors TBF Avenger
A 1945 TBM-3, N188TD, under the guidance of pilot Terry Rush, makes a perfect photo pass at the CAF's Wings of Freedom Airshow in August 2002. Photo by Greg Witmer, Captain Video Productions.

History: First flown on 1 August 1941, the three-seat Grumman TBF-1 Avenger torpedo-bomber entered US Navy service just in time to participate in the Battle of Midway in June 1942. During its World War II lifespan, the Avenger design changed very little, and this allowed it to be built in huge quantities. Demand for the airplane was so great that the General Motors Company was also contracted to build it, under the designation TBM-1, beginning in September 1942.

Over 1,000 TBF/TBMs (initially called Tarpon Mk I, and later designated Avenger Mk I) were also used by the Royal Navy's Fleet Air Arm in both Atlantic and Pacific theaters. The Avenger was also used by the Royal New Zealand Air Force.

The second major variant was the TBM-3, which featured strengthened wings to allow rockets and radar pods to be carried. A large percentage of the TBM-3s were delivered with their large dorsal turrets removed.

The Avenger's torpedo-delivery capability had a huge impact on the Japanese fleet during the war, and its rugged simplicity made it highly resistant to enemy air defenses. After the war, the Avenger continued to find niches in naval aviation. The US Navy maintained it as a search-and-rescue aircraft, an all-weather night bomber, an electronic countermeasures platform, a Carrier On-Board Delivery (COD) aircraft, and a target tug.

In 1953, the Royal Navy began acquiring anti-submarine warfare versions of the Avenger under the Mutual Defense Assistance Program (MDAP). These aircraft were designated the Avenger AS Mk IV or AS Mk V, and were used in the ASW role until the introduction of the Fairey Gannet in 1955. Avengers were also exported under MDAP to France, Japan, Canada, and the Netherlands.

Unbelievably, some Avengers continued earning their keep until more than sixty years after their debut. Until recently, at least one aerial firefighting operation used Avengers as firebombers and/or fire spotters over the woods of Canada. Many more have found their way into the caring hands of collectors and warbird museums.

Nicknames: Chuff; Turkey; Pregnant Beast; Tarpon (RAF).

Specifications (TBM-3):
    Engine: 1,900hp Wright R-2600-20 radial piston engine

    Weight: Empty 10,545 lbs., Maximum Takeoff 17,895
    Wing Span: 54ft. 2in.
    Length: 40ft 11.5in.
    Height: 15ft 5in.
    Performance:
        Maximum Speed at 16,500ft: 276mph
        Climb Rate: 2060 feet per minute
        Ceiling: 30,100ft
        Range: 1000 miles
    Armament:
        Two 12.7mm (0.5 in.) forward-firing machine guns
        One 12.7mm (0.5 in.) dorsal-mounted machine gun
        One 7.62mm (0.3 in.) ventral-mounted machine gun
        Up to 2,000lb of bombs in bomb-bay
        Wing-mounted rockets / drop tanks / radar pod

Number Built: 9,836 (7,546 by General Motors)

Number Still Airworthy: 42

Links:
Ace Pilots: Avenger page
Explore a Grumman Avenger - Warbird Resource Group's photo tour of a TBM.
Forest Protection Ltd., Lincoln, New Brunswick, Canada -- The last operational fleet of TBMs in the world.
Hoof's Warbirds: Avenger (PC simulation page, but contains interesting performance data.)
Photovault Image Archive: Avenger Photos
Rachel Carlson Scuba Park, Near Chicago, USA
Rocky Mountain Wing, CAF -- Operators of a TBM-3E in Grand Junction, Colorado, USA.
U-Boat Net: Avenger History -- Very thorough aircraft history.

 

Grumman TBF TBM Avenger
Grumman TBF/TBM Avenger
By Terry Treadwell
Paperback, 160 pages
Published September 2001 by Tempus Publishing, Ltd.

A detailed look at the Avenger, including photos, drawings, and flying stories.

Price $18.89 (Save 30% off list price!)

 



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