American Combat Planes of the 20th Century is an incredible reference for anyone who is interested in any American Combat Plane History.   There are 758 pages and 1700 b/w photos in this substantial labor of love by Ray Wagner, who has been passionately researching and writing about aircraft for over 50 years.   Whether you are already familiar with his past works, or just discovering this accomplished author for the first time... This is the book that you've been waiting for!

If you'd like to see the book's   Table of Contents ... Click here.   You can also browse the entire   Index Section   to get an idea of the extensive amount of information that is covered within this book.

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Navy Patrol Flying Boats, 1920-1932

P2Y-1, P2Y-2, P2Y-3

Page 7


Enclosures covered the original open pilots’ cockpits on this Martin and a Mk 11 sight in the bow aimed bombs hung above the struts connecting the fuselage and the floats that contained the fuel tanks. Flexible .30-caliber guns in the bow and rear cockpits could be supported by weapons in the waist doors, if needed.

The last patrol biplane built for the Navy, and the last with inline engines, was the Hall XP2H-1 ordered June 30, 1930, and first flown November 15, 1932. Largest Ameri­can flying boat since NC-4, it had a crew of six and four 600-hp Curtiss V-1570-54 Conquerors mounted in tandem pairs and cooled by radiators below the front engines. Armament included a 2,000-pound bomb load and five .30-caliber Browning guns at positions in the nose, rear deck, waist and tail. The last weapon was aimed by a prone gunner between clamshell doors, the first tail gun on a Navy plane. CONSOLIDATED XP2Y-2

Consolidated offered an improved XPY-l design with 575-hp Wright R-1820 Cyclones and a small lower wing, making a sesquiplane (1+l/2 wing) layout with room for more fuel tanks and bomb racks. This design won the next Navy design competition, with contracts for an XP2Y-1 prototype on May 26, 1931, and 23 similar P2Y-ls July 7.

The XP2Y-1 was first flown March 26, 1932, with three engines, but on May 18, tests began with the two-engine layout chosen for production ships. Three-bladed propellers, ring cowls, and enclosed pilot cockpits were featured on the five-place patrol plane. Armament included up to 2,000 pounds of bombs under the wings, a .30-caliber Browning in the bow cockpit, and two others beneath the sliding hatches of the twin waist openings. CONSOLIDATED P2Y-3

On February 1, 1933, the first P2Y-1s went to Norfolk for Patrol Squadron Ten (VP-10), who found them far ­superior in endurance to the old biplane boats. Two then spectacular demonstrations of their capabilities are remembered; the nonstop flight from Norfolk to Coco Solo, the Canal Zone base, by VP-5 in September 1933, and by six VP-10 boats from San Francisco to Pearl Harbor in January 1934. The latter 2,400-mile formation flight took 24 hours, 35 minutes, and satisfied a Navy ambition ­frustrated in 1925, when the PN-9 biplane ran out of fuel and had to go the rest of the way by sail!

CONSOLIDATED P2Y-3A for Argentina

The last P2Y-1 became the XP2Y-2 in August 1933, with the R-1820-88 Cyclones inserted into the upper wing’s leading edge. This layout was adopted for 23 P2Y-3 models ordered December 27, 1933 and delivered from January to May 1935, with 700-hp R-1820-90 Cyclones.

This new engine position was so successful that the P2Y-ls in service were modernized to P2Y-2 configuration with conversion kits made up by Consolidated and shipped to Pearl Harbor and Coco Solo. Consolidated’s P2Y-2 and P2Y-3 boats were to continue in squadron service until sent to Pensacola as trainers in 1941.

Foreign sales included a P2Y-lC for Colombia flown on December 23, 1932, and a P2Y-lJ, the latter assembled and flown in Japan by the Kawanishi Company on April 12, 1935, for evaluation by the Japanese Navy. Six P2Y-3A boats were ordered by Argentina in May 1936, and first flown June 3, 1937. Delivered from San Diego by August 1937, they served Argentina’s patrol squadron for ten years.

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