The Northrop N-3PB was the first aircraft designed by the newly formed Northrop Aircraft, Inc. that was actually produced by that company. It was originally designed in 1939 to meet a specification for a seaplane patrol bomber to be used by Norway. The three-place, single-engine, cantilevered low-wing monoplane patrol bomber had two floats attached by full cantilever pedestals to the left and right wings. The first flight test took place on 1 November 1940 at Lake Elsinore, California. The Northrop N-3PB was soon identified as the world's fastest military sea plane. 24 aircraft were ordered by Norway on 12 March 1940. Within the short span of eight months, the first production aircraft rolled off the Northrop assembly line. In May of 1941 eighteen N-3PBs arrived in Reykjavik, Iceland. Twelve of these aircraft were immediately assigned to Norwegian 330 Squadron (based in Iceland). During the war, one of the N-3PBs (No. 320 -"U") was lost on a ferry flight while crash-landing on a frozen river in Iceland. Thirty-six years later the aircraft was recovered, and in November 1979, the wreck was flown to the Northrop Aircraft Division plant at Hawthorne, California to be fully restored. A year later, on November 10th, 1980, the only remaining example of the Northrop N-3PB was rolled out, following a complete restoration by volunteers of the The Western Museum of Flight. After restoration, the N-3PB was donated to Norway, and is currently on display in Oslo, Norway.
(Source: The Western Museum of Flight on-line newsletter)
For more photos, data, and history on this aircraft, click here for the Western Museum of
Flight N-3PB webpage.
Additional information on this aircraft can be found at Wikipedia here.
(updated February 2009)
Type: patrol bomber/torpedo bomber floatplane Crew: 3 Armament: (4) 50-cal guns (2) 30-cal guns (1) 2,000 torpedo, or equivalent bombload Specifications: Length: 38' (10.97 m) Height: 12' (3.66 m) Wingspan: 48' 11" (14.91 m) Wing area: 376.8 sq. feet (34.93 m) Empty Weight: (2808 kg) Takeoff Weight: 10,600 lbs. Max Weight: (4808 kg) Propulsion: No. of Engines: 1 Powerplant: Wright GR-1820-G205A Horsepower: 1200 hp Performance: Range: 1400 miles (1609 km) Cruise Speed: 215 mph (296 km/hr) Max Speed: 257 mph (419 km/hr) Ceiling: 28,400 ft (7392 m)
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