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Grumman F3F-2 Flying Barrel

Grumman F3F-2 Flying Barrel

The first production F3F-2 Flying Barrel was delivered to the U.S. Navy in 1936; it was retired from squadron service in 1941. It was the last U.S. Navy and Marine front-line biplane fighter.

This aircraft had both a 0.30 caliber and a 0.50 caliber machine gun above the engine in the nose firing through the propeller. A major limitation was in the amount of ammunition—only 500 rounds for the 0.30 caliber and 200 for the 0.50 caliber. It could also carry one 116 lb. bomb under each wing.

Compare this beautifully restored Flying Barrel with the F7F Tigercat, another Grumman aircraft. Though just a few years separate these warbirds, they are worlds apart in technical sophistication, performance, safety, and firepower. The F3F is owned by the National Museum of World War II Aviation.



The Pikes Peak Regional Airshow supports three museums in Colorado Springs—The Ft. Carson 4th Infantry Museum, The Peterson Air and Space Museum and The National Museum of WWII Aviation. These unique institutions are dedicated to the education of future generations through the preservation of our nation’s military heritage.