Naval Aircraft Factory N3N Color Photographs

N3N_01_NAS Pensacola
Superficially very similar to the N2S Stearman primary trainer, the Naval Aircraft Factory N3N shared the same role and paint scheme. The two types were used side by side throughout the Second World War training Navy and Marine aviators.
N3N_02
The Naval Aircraft Factory in Philadelphia was unique in that it was owned and operated by the U.S. Navy. The Navy even purchased the production rights for the Wright R-760 radial engine which powered the N3N.
N3N_03
The production run lasted from 1935 through 1942, 997 examples being built. Here an upper wing is being transported to a repair shop.
N3N_04
An interesting perspective as a sailor cranks the engine. One way to tell an N3N from a Stearman is the Stearman used wire supports between the vertical and horizontal stabilizers while the N3S used struts.
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The Marines also flew the N3N. This example is being readied to tow gliders at Parris Island in 1942.
N3N_06_
Like many U.S. Navy aircraft of the late 1930s the N3N could trade its fixed landing gear for floats and operate as a seaplane. Here a pilot poses with his foot on one of the wingtip floats at NAS Pensacola.
N3N_07_Pensacola
Another pilot strikes a pose in front of an N3N with floats. The propeller tips are marked in the pre-war convention.
N3N_08_NAS Pensacola
A fine study of an N3N floatplane on the ramp. The floats were painted in Aluminum dope. Unofficially the N3N was called the Canary due to its paint scheme.
N3N_09_N3N3
An N3N ready to be hoisted clear of the water. The style of the national insignia indicates the photograph was taken prior to May, 1942. Note the markings and anti-glare paint on the back of the propeller blade.
N3N_10_Annapolis
The N3N was the last biplane type to serve with the U.S. military. The type was used for familiarization flights at the U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis until 1959. The underside of the lower wing has been marked “U.S. NAVY”.

2 thoughts on “Naval Aircraft Factory N3N Color Photographs

  1. The top photo looks like a dead ringer for the flight line at Corry Field. Now known as Information Warfare Training Command (IWTC) Corry Station, I spent countless hours up and down that “flight line”, which is now the main road through the base. The hangers were converted into schoolhouses and administration buildings, and although much has changed, there are still large concrete sections in front of the old hangars that still have the metal tie-downs embedded in the surface. Great photo.

    Liked by 1 person

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