Boeing P-12 & F4B

1st Flight 1928

The Boeing P-12/F4B was an American pursuit aircraft that was operated by the United States Army Air Corps , United States Marine Corps, and United States Navy.

P-12s were flown by the 17th Pursuit Group at March Field, California, and the 20th Pursuit Group at Barksdale Field, Louisiana.

Older P-12s were used by groups overseas: the 4th Composite Group in the Philippines, the 16th Pursuit Group in the Canal Zone, and the 18th Pursuit Group in Hawaii.

The P-12 remained in service with first-line pursuit groups until replaced by Boeing P-26s in 1934–1935.

Survivors were relegated to training duties until 1941, when most were grounded and assigned to mechanic’s schools.

23 P-12Cs, P-12Ds and P-12Es were transferred to the Navy for use as advanced trainers.

These aircraft were redesignated as F4B-4As

Variants

Model 83

One prototype with spreader-bar landing gear and 425 hp Pratt & Whitney R-1340-8 engine, later designated XF4B-1 for Navy evaluation.

Model 89

One prototype with split-axle undercarriage and provision for a 500 lb bomb on ventral rack, later designated XF4B-1 for Navy evaluation.

P-12

Model 102, U.S. Army Air Corps version of the F4B-1 with a 450 hp R-1340-7 engine.

XP-12A

Model 101, 10th built P-12 with NACA cowl a 525 hp R-1340-9 engine and shorter undercarriage, one built.

P-12B

Model 102B, as P-12 with larger main wheels and improvements tested on XP-12A.

P-12C

Model 222, as P-12B with ring cowl and spreader-bar undercarriage.

P-12D

Model 234, as P-12C with a 525 hp R-1340-17 engine.

P-12E

Model 234, as P-12D with semi-monocoque metal fuselage, redesigned vertical tail surfaces, some were later fitted with tail wheels instead of skids.

P-12F

Model 251, as P-12E with a 600 hp R-1340-19 engine.

XP-12G

P-12B modified with a R-1340-15 engine with side-type supercharger, one converted.

XP-12H

P-12D modified with a GISR-1340E experimental engine, one converted.

P-12J

P-12E modified with a 575 hp R-1340-23 engine, and special bomb sight, one conversion.

YP-12K

P-12E and P-12J re-engined with a fuel injected SR-1340E engine, seven temporary conversions.

XP-12L

YP-12K temporary fitted with a F-2 supercharger, one converted.

A-5

Designation for proposed use of P-12 as a radio-controlled target drone (cancelled)

XF4B-1

Designation given to two prototypes for Navy evaluation, the former Model 83 and the former Model 89.

F4B-1

Boeing Model 99 for the United States Navy, split-axle landing gear and ventral bomb rack.

F4B-1A

One F4B-1 converted to unarmed executive transport for the Assistant Secretary of the Navy, fuel tank moved to upper wing centre section.

F4B-2

Boeing Model 223, spreader bar landing gear, Frise ailerons, tail wheel replacing skid.

F4B-3

Boeing Model 235, as F4B-2 but with semi-monocoque metal fuselage and equipment changes.

F4B-4

Boeing Model 235, as F4B-3 but with redesigned vertical tail surfaces, 550 hp R-1340-16 engine, under wing racks for two 116 lb bombs, last 45 built had an enlarged headrest housing a life raft, 92 built and one built from spares.

F4B-4A

23 assorted P-12 aircraft transferred from USAAC for use as a radio-controlled target aircraft.

Model 100

Civil version of the F4B-1 with upper wing tank.

Model 100A

Two-seat civil version for Howard Hughes, later converted to a single-seater, one built.

Model 100D

One Model 100 temporary used as a P-12 demonstrator.

Model 100E

Export version of the P-12E for the Siamese Air Force, two built, one later transferred to the Japanese Navy under the designation AXB.

Model 100F

One civil variant of the P-12F sold to Pratt & Whitney as an engine test bed.

Model 218

Prototype of the P-12E/F4B-3 variant, after evaluation sold to the Chinese Air Force.

Model 256

Export version of the F4B-4 for Brazilian Navy

Model 267

Export version for Brazil with an F4B-3 fuselage and P-12E wings

Aero-Tech of Hastings, Florida, built a 4/5-scale replica Boeing F4B-2/P-12C in 1978 powered by a 245 hp Jacobs R-755-9.

Specifications

Crew

1

Length

20 ft 4 in (6.20 m)

Wingspan

30 ft (9.1 m)

Height

9 ft (2.7 m)

Airfoil

Boeing 106

Gross weight

2,690 lb (1,220 kg)

Powerplant

1 × Pratt & Whitney R-1340-17 Wasp 9-cylinder air-cooled radial piston engine, 500 hp (370 kW)

Propellers

2-bladed adjustable-pitch metal propeller

Performance

Maximum speed

189 mph (304 km/h, 164 kn)

Cruise speed

160 mph (260 km/h, 140 kn)

Range

570 mi (920 km, 500 nmi)

Service ceiling

26,300 ft (8,000 m)

Armament

Guns

2 x .30 inch (7.62 mm) Browning machine guns with 600 rounds per gun or 1 x .30 inch (7.62 mm) machine gun with 600 rounds and 1 x .50 inch (12.7 mm) machine gun with 200 rounds

Bombs: 244 lb (111 kg) of bombs carried externally.

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