Brewster F2A (39) Buffalo Timeline
1932: An aeronautical engineer named James Work bought the aircraft division of
Brewster and Co. for $30,000.
15 November 1935: The US Navy approves the fighter monoplane designed by Brewster.
22 June 1936: The US Navy orders the XF2A-1 (Model 139) to be constructed.
10 February 1937: Brewster and Work Engineering are legally consolidated as the
Brewster Aeronautical Corporation.
2 December 1937: The first flight of the XF2A-1.
January 1938: The XF2A-1 is delivered to the USN for testing at NAS Anacostia, MD.
1 March 1938: Comparative tests are performed between the Brewster XF2A-1,
Grumman XF4F-2 and Seversky NF-1.
11 June 1938: Brewster wins the test trials and 54 production F2A-1 (Model 239) are
ordered by the USN. Engine: Wright R-1820-34: 940 hp./T.O. 750 hp./17,000 ft.
Combat Weight: 5,055 lbs., Maximum Speed: 271 mph./S.L., 301 mph./17,000 ft.
Climb: 3070 fpm./S.L., Service Ceiling: 32,500 ft., Range (normal) 1,095 ml.
1,680 max. Armament: 1 x 0.5 in. + 1 x 0.3 in. machine guns.
22 March 1939: The USN orders the XF2A-1 converted to XF2A-2 standards.
Engine: Wright R-1820-22 (G5): 950 hp./T.O./2,200 rpm. 850 hp./2,100 rpm.
Maximum Speed: 304 mph., Service Ceiling: 30,900 ft.
20 June 1939: Deliveries of the F2A-1 to the USN began. Wright R-1820-34:
950 hp./T.O., 750 hp./15,200 ft.
July 1939: The XF2A-2 begins flight tests with the Wright R-1820-40: 1,200 hp./T.O.
1,000 hp./S.L. - 4,500 ft. low blower, 900 hp./9,800 - 14,000 ft. high blower.
August 1939: The British Purchasing Commission orders 120 Model 339 (F2A-2).
August 1939: Poland orders 250 F2As for $15 million that are never delivered because
Germany invades first.
October 1939: The British Air Ministry declares the F2A unfit for the RAF.
December 1939: Eleven F2A-1s were accepted and entered service with Squadron
VF-3 of the USN.
8 December 1939: Nine F2A-1s become operational aboard the USS Saratoga
supplanting VF-3's F3F-1s.
January 1940: Seventeen de-navalized F2A-1s are delivered to Sweden. They were
assembled by a team of Norwegian Air Force volunteers and tested at SAAB in
Trollhatten, and then flown to Finland.
April 1940: The last of the 44 Brewster 239s (F2A-1) have reached Nr.24 & Nr.26
Squadrons in Finland. Engine was the Wright R-1820-G5, Combat Weight: 5,820 lb.
10 May 1940: The first Belgian 339B is delivered with a Wright Cyclone GR-1820-G:
28 May 1940: Belgium surrenders to Germany and the B-339B was still in its crate at
July 1940: Six Belgium 339Bs are delivered to Martinique on the French aircraft carrier
Bearne. USN F2A-1s on the USS Saratoga have proven to have weak landing gear.
The first British Buffalo I (339E)s are being assembled at Burtonwood Lancashire.
September 1940: RAF flight test by No.71 Squadron at Church Fenton reveal the Buffalo
is not suited for Europe.
September 1940: A contract for 72 B-339Bs was signed by the Netherlands Purchasing
Commission for 24 R-1820-G105A (1,000 hp.) and 48 R-1820-G205A (1,200 hp.)
7 October 1940: USN Squadron VF-2 received their first F2A-2s.
21 January 1941: Grumman F4F-3s are not being produced fast enough so the USN
orders 108 F2A-3s to keep Brewster's production line going.
March 1941: Six Brewster 339Bs are operational with No.805 Squadron's Fairey Fulmars
in Crete with the Fleet Air Arm.
April-September 1941: Seventy-one G205A powered B-339s arrived in the Netherlands
July 1941: First F2A-3s are delivered to the US Navy.
8 December 1941: Thirty Dutch 339Ds are operational in the Netherlands East Indies.
25 December 1941: Fourteen F2A-3s of Marine Squadron VMF-221 from USS Saratoga
become the first fighters on Midway Island.
January 1942: 339E Buffalos are used in Malaya by RAF Squadrons No.67 & No.243,
RAAF Squadrons No.21 & No.453 and RNZAF Squadron No.433. The Buffalos are
considered to have poor performance to their adversaries.
4 June 1942: Two Marine groups at the beginning of the Battle of Midway consisting of
twelve F2A-3s & thirteen F4F-3s attack 108 Japanese aircraft 30 ml. off the coast at
12,000 ft. The defending group was essentially wiped out. One of the surviving Brewster
pilots commented," It is my belief that any commander who orders pilots out for combat
in an F2A should consider the pilot lost before leaving the ground."
References for all my Posts:
America's Hundred Thousand by Francis H. Dean
US Navy and Marine Corps Fighters by Willam Green and Gordon Swanborough 1977
Flying to the Limit by Peter Cagill
Edited by CORSNING, 09 November 2017 - 05:15 PM.