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Creator:Grumman Aircraft Engineering Corporation
Some of naval aviation's earliest operations involved searching for submerged submarines from the air, and in the wide-ranging war against German U-boats during World War II, naval aviation solidified a place as a prime instrument of antisubmarine warfare. Grumman's TBF Avenger, along with General Motors-built TBM versions of the company's design, was the primary carrier-based antisubmarine platform during the war, and as combat still raged in February 1945, the company received an order for three prototypes of an updated design called the XTB3F-1, one of which interestingly included a Westinghouse turbojet in the tail for quick escape, a feature that was not incorporated in operational aircraft. With provisions for carrying various configurations of torpedoes, bombs, or depth charges in an internal bomb bay and underwing rockets, the eventual production version of the aircraft, called the AF-2S, was also equipped with radar and a powerful searchlight. Grumman also developed an AF-2W version of the Guardian fitted with a large ventral radome housing an AN/APS-20A search radar. In fleet service, the pair of aircraft operated together, forming hunter-killer teams that were a mainstay in the U.S. Navy's air antisubmarine squadrons into the mid-1950s.
Length: 43 ft., 4 in.; Height: 16 ft., 2 in.; Wingspan: 60 ft., 8 in.
Location:1750 Radford Blvd., Pensacola, Florida 32508