Biplane

Boeing P-12/F4B

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Boeing P-12E

Boeing P-12/F4B Biplane History
Operated by the United States Navy as the F4B and the United States Army Air Corps as the P-12, the Boeing P-12/F4B aircraft was a pursuit aircraft developed to replace Boeing’s F2B and F3B. It continued to use the same Pratt and Whitney Wasp engine as it’s predecessors but proved to be more agile, as it was both smaller and lighter. It’s service ceiling was notably far higher than earlier American fighters. There were many variants to the original design, including the following: P-12, XP-12A, P-12B, P12-C, P-12D, P-12E, P-12F, XP-12G, XP-12H, P12-J, YP-12K, XP-12L, A-5, XF4B-1, F4B-1, F4B-1A, F4B2, F4B-3, F4B-4, F4B-4A, Model 100, Model 100A, Model 100D, Model 100E, Model 100F, Model 219, Model 256 and Model 267.

Boeing P-12/F4B Biplane Operations
From the early 1930s these biplanes were operated by several United States Army Air Corps squadrons from Barksdale Field Louisiana, March Field California, Hawaii, and the Panama Canal Zone; however, by 1933 they were being outperformed by more modern aircraft. The Air Corps used them for carrying air mail in 1934, but they were quickly replaced as it was a task that didn’t really suit them. Some models of the Boeing P-12/F4B biplanes were also built for the civilian market and others were exported to countries such as Brazil and China.

Boeing P-12/F4B Biplane Later Years
In later years many of the surviving Boeing P-12/F4B biplanes were passed to the Air Corps, the Navy and Mechanic’s schools. Between 1932 and 1936 Boeing P-12/F4B biplanes were also used for aerobatics by Captain Claire L. Chennault and his ‘Three Men on a Flying Trapeze’ aerobatic display team.

There are several models of the these biplanes on display in museums across the United States, including a Boeing F4B-4 in the National Air and Space Museum in Washington D.C., a P-12E in the Planes of Fame Air Museum in Chino, California, and a P12-F in the National Naval Aviation Museum in Pensacola, Florida.

Various scale models, model kits and plans of the Boeing P-12/F4B have been available in the market place.

Boeing P-12E Biplane Specifications:

Boeing P-12/F4B Crew:
Pilot only
Boeing P-12/F4B Length:
20ft 4in (6.19m)
Boeing P-12/F4B Wingspan:
30ft 0in (9.14m)
Boeing P-12/F4B Height:
9ft 0in (2.74m)
Boeing P-12/F4B Wing area:
227ft² (21.1 m²)
Boeing P-12/F4B Empty weight:
1,664lb (755kg)
Boeing P-12/F4B Max takeoff weight:
2,690lb (1,220kg)
Boeing P-12/F4B Engine:
Single 500 hp Pratt & Whitney R-1340-17 Radial engine
Boeing P-12/F4B Maximum speed:
189mph (304 km/h)
Boeing P-12/F4B Range:
570 mi (917 km)
Boeing P-12/F4B Service ceiling:
26,300ft (8,020m)

Boeing P-12E Biplane Armament:

Bombs:
244lb (111kg) mounted externally

Guns:
Single .30 inch (7.62 mm) machine gun and
Single .50 inch (12.7 mm) machine
or
Twin .30 inch (7.62 mm) Browning machine guns
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