American Combat Planes of the 20th Century is an incredible reference for anyone who is interested in any American Combat Plane History.   There are 758 pages and 1700 b/w photos in this substantial labor of love by Ray Wagner, who has been passionately researching and writing about aircraft for over 50 years.   Whether you are already familiar with his past works, or just discovering this accomplished author for the first time... This is the book that you've been waiting for!

If you'd like to see the book's   Table of Contents ... Click here.   You can also browse the entire   Index Section   to get an idea of the extensive amount of information that is covered within this book.

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A- 1 Eaton     A- 4 Skyhawk     A- 6 & A- 7     Air Weapons     AV- 8 to A- 10     A- 20 Havoc     A- 22 Martin Maryland     A- 23 Martin Baltimore     A- 24 Douglas     A- 26 Douglas Invader     Attack Planes     B- 2A, F-111, F-117 Stealth    B- 17 Flying Fortress     B- 24 Liberator     B- 25 North American     B- 26 Marauder     B- 29 Superfortress     B- 32 Dominator     B- 35 Flying Wing     B- 36     B- 47 Stratojet     B- 50 Boeing     B- 52 Stratofortress     B- 57 Canberra     B- 58 Hustler     Biplanes     Biplanes, Army Pursuits     Bombers, B- 70 to Stealth     Bombers, First Big     Curtiss Falcon     CO- 1     DH- 4 De Havilland     F3D- Douglas Skyknight    F3H- McDonnell Demon    F4D- 1 Skyray    F4F Grumman Wildcats    F- 4U Corsair    F6F Grumman    F7F Grumman    F7U Vought    F9F G. Cougar    F9F G. Panther    F- 16 Fighting Falcon    F- 84     F- 86 Sabre    F- 89 to F-94    F- 100 to F-108    First Fighters    Flying Boats    GAX    Iraq to Afghanistan    Martin Bombers    Missile Era Fighters    Navy Fighers    Navy Flying Boats    O- 2 Douglas     P- 35 Seversky     P- 36 to 42 Curtiss     P- 38 Lightning    P- 39 Airacobra    P- 40 Line    P- 47 Thunderbolt    P- 51 Mustang Fighter    P- 61 Black Widow    P- 63 Kingcobra    P- 79 to P-81    P- 82 Twin Mustang    SB2C Helldiver    TBF-TBM Avenger    Thomas-Morse    Torpedo Planes    V- 11 Vultee    XB -28    XP -48 / 77   

Navy Patrol Flying Boats, 1920-1932

PN-10, PN-12, XPB-2, PD-1

Page 2


The first flying boat built since 1919 by a private company to a Navy design was the Boeing PB-l ordered September 23, 1924, for the same trans-Pacific flight as the PN-9. Two big 800-hp Packard 2A-2540s back-to-back between the hull and upper wing, turned one tractor and one pusher propeller. First flown at Seattle July 29, 1925, the PB-l had five cockpits, the Clark Y airfoil, and a new composite hull design with metal bottom and plywood deck. Three Lewis guns and up to 4,000 pounds of bombs could be carried, but engine difficulties prevented participation in the Hawaii flight.

The next pair of boats were the PN-l0s with geared 525-hp Packard 2A-1500s, and three-bladed propellers. They were expected to introduce a metal wing structure covered by fabric, but delay of the duralumin parts caused the first flight on June 21, 1926, to be made with wooden wings. Distance records set in August 1927 by a PN-10 at San Diego included one of 1,569 miles in 20 hours, 15 minutes, with an 1,100-pound load. Two more PN-l0s were ordered with the metal wings and the first flew November 30, 1927, the first Navy flying boat with an all-metal structure, although cotton fabric still covered wings and control surfaces. NAF PN-12

Up to this point, water-cooled engines had been used on Navy patrol planes, but in 1928 the Navy changed to air-cooled radials on flying boats. The second PN-10 became the XPN-12 when fitted with 525-hp Wright R-1750 Cyclones in December 1927, and the same engines powered the boat ordered as the fourth PN-10, but delivered in June 1928 as a PN-12.

Pratt & Whitney R-1690 Hornets were mounted on the other two PN-10s, which were also redesignated PN-12, and set an altitude record in June 1928 of 15,426 feet with 4,400 pounds. Boeing’s ship was also rebuilt at the NAF as the XPB-2 with two Pratt & Whitney R-1690 Hornets, instead of the unsatisfactory Packards, and was test flown in April 1928. BOEING XPB-2

The first PN-12 version with Wright engines was the prototype for the first production flying boats ordered since the war. Twenty-five Douglas PD-ls ordered Decem­ber 29, 1927, entered service in June 1929 with VP-7 at San Diego, and were then all concentrated at Pearl Harbor with VP-4 and VP-6. Armament comprised two flexible guns and four 500-pound bombs, with automatic pilot and radio equipment.


On May 31, 1929, the Navy ordered 25 Martin PM-l and three NAF XP2N boats. Martin’s contract was increased to 30 PM-ls delivered at Baltimore from July to October 1930 with 525-hp Wright R-1750D Cyclones, but the last three boats were diverted to Brazil, and replaced by PM-2s. Six each went to Scouting Force squadrons VP-2 at Coco Solo and VP-8, VP-9, and VP-10 based on tenders Argonne and Wright.

The PM-ls were almost identical to the Douglas PD-ls except for rounded engine nacelles, and had four .30-caliber guns in the forward cockpit, rear cockpit, and side openings. Four 500 or two 1,000-pound bombs could be carried under the wings, and a 239-pound radio and a five-man life raft were standard equipment.

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