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.