Monday, June 1, 2009
NAVAL AIRCRAFT FACTORY N3N-3
|STANDARD DATA: Seats 2. Gross wt. 2,780. Empty wt. 2,050. Engine 235-hp Wright Whirlwind.
PERFORMANCE: Top mph 118. Cruise mph 98. Initial climb rate 800. Range 470. Ceiling 13,700.
In 1935, the Naval Aircraft Factory in Philadelphia began design of the N3N primary trainer. The government-owned company finally began production in April 1940 and produced a total of 816 two-seaters before production ceased in 1942. The tandem biplane, nicknamed the “Yellow Peril,” was built both as a landplane and floatplane; many of the latter were used at Annapolis until retired in 1959. The original Yellow Peril was powered by a 235-hp seven-cylinder Wright Whirlwind radial engine although many of the trainers that found themselves in civilian hands were fitted with other engines such as the 459-hp Pratt & Whitney Wasp Junior, the 600-hp Wasp, or smaller Continental engines of 220 to 250 hp. Almost 150 N3N biplanes are active today, many of them serving faithfully as agricultural aircraft.