Little Known Grumman design efforts: G-33 G-35 and the XF2M-1

Discussion in 'Aviation' started by oldcrowcv63, Nov 9, 2012.

  1. oldcrowcv63

    oldcrowcv63 Well-Known Member

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    Interesting Grumman designs: G-33, G-35 XF2M-1

    From Rene Francillon's Grumman Aircraft since 1929:

    A Grumman Study started in February 1938 to study performance gains to replace the R-1820/R-1830 with the Wright R-2600 of 1,600 hp. This effort evolved into the G-35 effort which was apparently judged to be a dead end but the work apparently provided a head start on design of the G-50 also known as the F6F Hellcat begun in September, 1940.

    Also the XF2M-1 was an attempt to design/produce a super FM-2 Wildcat using P&W R-2000 or Wright R-2600, started in October 1942 but canceled in 1945, before completion of a prototype. Evidently it was slow rolled by BuAer which was basically satisfied with the FM-2 and didn't want to interrupt production.
     
  2. VBF-13

    VBF-13 Well-Known Member

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    #2 VBF-13, Nov 9, 2012
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2012
    Just on this, Crow, as a practical matter, we didn't need any bigger and better FM2s, anyway. Basically, as things went with the F6Fs, while I wouldn't go as far as to say they took the FM2s out of combat, they did reduce them, in large part, to utility roles. Here's a snapshot of them, behind the PBY, in that exact duty. This would be the FAW-2 Squadron, at NAS Kaneohe, maybe late 1944, early 1945.
     

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  3. oldcrowcv63

    oldcrowcv63 Well-Known Member

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    #3 oldcrowcv63, Nov 10, 2012
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2012
    Yikes VBF, you appear to have misidentified a Grumman J2F Duck as a PBY. The location being NAS Kaneohe, I suspect there are PBYs somewhere on that ramp but I don't see them in this photo.

    I agree, based upon the Navy's decision, the FM-2 was evidently sufficiently well suited to the tasks assigned later in the war and the navy saw no need to introduce new variants of the type. I have to ask: when you say utility roles, do you mean ASW and CAS for amphibious landings? If you do the numbers, with about 100 Escort carriers, it looks like there were about 2,500 FM types deployed at sea. With a total production run through May 1945 when production ceased, Eastern produced 4,060 FM-2s (3,720 going to the USN) according to Tillman in Wildcat. Same source says FM-2s accounted for 422 victories during 1944-45. That compares to 270 for the F4F-4 during 1942-43. With about 30 USN fleet carriers (CVLs and CVs) figure about 1,500 F6F/F4U types deployed on flight decks, assuming Air Groups of 50% fighter composition. So while the more modern types were produced in much larger numbers (~12,000+ each compared to nearly 8,000 for the Wildcat) the level of commitment to combat appears to have been comparable right up to near war's end. As long as the USN was employing CVEs in such abundance, the FM-2 seems to have had a role to play.

    I found the data on the unfinished designs interesting because one measure of a "good fighter" is its potential for growth. It seemed to me, based on these efforts, that the F4F had not quite reached the zenith of its evolution when it was terminated. But then, with an abundance of F6F and F4U in your inventory, why bother with a hotter F4F, which I believe was perhaps central to your point.
     
  4. VBF-13

    VBF-13 Well-Known Member

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    Crow, I'll thank you for that correction on that aircraft, and I'll note it on the caption of the snapshot. I hadn't really looked that hard at that aircraft, anyway. As PBYs were infamous in these FAW squadrons, I just assumed.

    On the rest, look over my reply, again, and this time embolden, "while I wouldn't go as far as to say they [referring to the F6Fs] took the FM2s out of combat," and note that leaves room for their duty on those jeep, or the smaller, carriers, basically so I could just get on with my point.

    Finally, on those utility roles, specifically, I'm afraid I'm a little vague on those, outside of they were basically non-combat duties. At NAS Kaneohe, I know they did a lot of target-towing. Principally, that was for the bombers. You'd want to research the FAW squadrons, for the detail you're seeking, there. Again, I'm not an authority on those squadrons. I've just never been so inclined.
     
  5. oldcrowcv63

    oldcrowcv63 Well-Known Member

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    #5 oldcrowcv63, Nov 10, 2012
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2012
    I caught your " ...while I wouldn't go as far as to say they [referring to the F6Fs] took the FM2s out of combat,..." but figured I'd embelish the detail that I collected while responding to your post. That wasn't meant so much as a correction as a preemptive clarification if there is such a thing. For me, half the fun of the forum is the research the posts of others prompts me to do. If the research turns up inteeresting tidbits then my next impulse is to share them with like-minded spirits such as yourself. Your post prompted me to look into FAW, which had somehow previously escaped my notice. If I had heard of them before, I may just have lumped them into the closely associated PATWING organization scheme which has come down to the modern era (with the advent of the Boeing P-8 Poseidon). As you have pointed out, these squadrons apparenetly flew a number of aircraft types, including astonishingly to me, fighters!

    from: http://www.history.navy.mil/avh-vol2/Appen13.pdf

    "1 November 1942: FAW-2: Redesignated at NAS Kaneohe, Hawaii"

    and from: Patrol Wing - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    On 15 September 1942, FAW-2 was relocated to NAS Kaneohe Bay, where it remained until 1949. Redesignated Fleet Air Wing Two 1 Nov 1942 at NAS Kaneohe, Hawaii;

    Frankly, I had not heard of any fighter types attached to what were essentially VP or VPB wings but here is your validation:

    http://www.history.navy.mil/a-record/ww-ii/loc-ac/1945/mar1945/10-3-45.pdf

    The OOB for FAW-2 group 2 (page 14) lists 15 FM-2 based at Kaneohe Bay NAS!

    Thanks VBF, you taught me something new! :)
     
  6. VBF-13

    VBF-13 Well-Known Member

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    Are you kidding me? Thank you for that research! If I did anything, it was just give you a little sniff.

    This is personal to me. My Dad, as a lot of others in the bombing-fighting and fighting squadrons, late in the War, finished off in these FAW squadrons. There just wasn't enough room to fit all the VBF-13 pilots on the Saratoga, I guess, it wasn't big enough, lol!

    Really, this is great stuff for me, Crow. Again, I'm indebted to you. How you turned up these files, that quick, just leaves me in amazement. Needless to say, these .pdfs are going to good use. I'm printing them out to keep with what I have on my Dad's jacket.
     
  7. oldcrowcv63

    oldcrowcv63 Well-Known Member

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    Glad to help! Going through those FAW OOBs by date I was astonished again to find one forward deployed FAW in mid 1944 had 36 F4Us assigned in two land based squadrons in the Solomon Islands IIRC. I suspect that as the USN and USMC advanced these FAW units were not just VP and VPB oriented but full service air wings that did it all. MY guess is that in the event that the IJN was able to penetrate into the rear areas of the advancing front line, there was a substantial reserve in the form of the FAW organizations that would have been more than adequate to deal with any attacks made on the previously captured territory.
     
  8. VBF-13

    VBF-13 Well-Known Member

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    Definitely! These weren't just for gunnery training or mail hops or things like that. I know they kept their pilots sharp. They even encouraged them in their free time to check out their aircraft. Definitely, these were ready for just about anything. They were like a standing reserve, in a sense, but they were more, when necessary. The PBYs, I know, did a lot of looking around for us.

    Speaking of checking out, I have to get back to my Veteran's Weekend grilling. You and you boys have a great one!
     
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