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Differences between the F2A and the British Buffalo

[The following was passed along by Jim Maas, who added this note: "There are a couple of differences that are not listed: the clear vision port on the sliding canopy, the pointy tail cone. In addition, there are some items listed about which I haven't got a clue - there's a reference to 'shutters' for the engine, but I keep thinking that means cowling flaps and that's obviously wrong. Anyone got a guess? It's also referenced in the Pilot's Notes Dan already posted." -- Dan Ford]

24 October 1940

Air Commodore Mansell
British Purchasing Commission
15 Broad Street
New York City, New York

Dear Air Commodore:

Listed below are the differences between the Navy F2A-2 and the British 339 E fighters, discussed by Mr. C. R. Fairey, British Purchasing Commission, the Honorable James Forrestal, Under Secretary of the Navy, Mr. Phillip Young, Treasury Department, Commander L. E. Richardson, Bureau of Aeronautics, and representatives of this Company.

F2A-2 Navy Model 339 E British
1.   1820-40 Wright Engine

1.   1820-G105A Wright engine

2.   Curtiss Electric Propeller 2.   Hamilton Standard Propeller
3.   Prop Cuffs 3.   No cuffs
4.   No shutters 4.   Shutters
5.   Navy Instrument arrangement 5.   English Instrument arrangement
6.   Navy seat 6.   English seat
7.   Navy Throttle 7.   English Throttle
8.   Electrical System 12V 8.   Electrical System 24V
9.   Battery 17 Amp hour 9    Battery 38 Amp
10. None 10. Flare and Release
11. Very Pistol 11. Recognition Device
12. Navy Radio 12. English Radio
13. Manual 5 lb. CO2 Fire Extinguisher 13. Manual heat temperature and shock 5 lb. Fire Extinguisher
14. No fuel and oil protection 14. External Linotex protection
15. Cartridge Starter 15. Electrical Inertia Starter
16. Retractable carrier type tail wheel 16. Fixed pneumatic tail wheel
17. Inherent flotation 17. None
18. 200 rounds .50 calibre ammunition in each wing 18. 500 rounds .50 calibre ammunition in each wing
19. Navy camera on side of fuselage 19. Camera in wing
20. None 20. Jettisoning sliding canopy
21. Non Electrical 21. Electrical Pitot Tube
22. One landing light 22. Two landing lights

23. None

23. Upper and Lower identification lights

24. None

24. 1 qt. Hand fire extinguisher

25. None

25. Cockpit, windscreen, and wing gun heating

26. Telescopic Gun Sight

26. Reflector Gun Sight

It is understood that the differences in engines and propellers, items 1 and 2, were necessary on account of the procurement situation for these items.  Items 2, 3, and 4, should be grouped together in that the differences in the cooling system are due to the fact that cuffs can not be installed on the Hamilton Standard Propeller.  It is understood that the Navy will adopt the 24 Volt system in future procurement (Item 8).  It is understood that the additional battery capacity required by the British is due to the British radio (Item 9).  It is possible that item 13 can be standardized after investigation.  It is called to attention, however, that considerable weight increase will be involved if the British fire extinguisher is used.

This Company is now investigating, in cooperation with the Bureau, a means for providing leak-proof protection for the fuel and oil tanks (item 14).  If a satisfactory method can be developed, it is probable standardization can be brought about.

It is understood that the British are willing to standardize on the cartridge starter (item 15).  It is very desirable to standardize on Items 18, 19, 20 and 21, in the event of future procurement.

Development of a dependable double filament bulb will permit standardization on one landing light (Item 22).

It was agreed the British would eliminate the hand fire extinguisher thus permitting standardization in item 24.

Investigation may permit standardization on items 11, 25 and 26.

It was stated by representatives of the contractor, that any attempt to produce standardization on existing fighter contracts, would result in delay in deliveries.

Very truly yours.

R. D. MacCart
Chief Engineer


CC: Hon. James Forrestal
Mr. Phillip Young
Commdr. L. B. Richardson
Brewster Export Corp.
Mr. Hardman
Gen. File
Eng. File
Mr. Bird

Question? Comment? Newsletter? Send me an email. Blue skies! -- Dan Ford