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Pre-WW2 Military and Naval Aviation Please use this forum to discuss Military and Naval Aviation before the Second World War.

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Old 9th October 2006, 21:11
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Seversky prototype

Alexander Seversky was a Russian immigrant who founded in 1931 on Long Island, New York the Seversky Aviation Corporation. Later, in 1939, the name of this company would be changed into the more familiar Republic Aviation Corporation. Seversky's first designs were a series of very modern all-metal single-engined aircraft finally resulting into the operational P-35 fighter. This P-35 was selected as a standard fighter for the Army Air Corps with a total of 137 built. The first P-35's were delivered for service in 1937. In that same year the U.S. Navy released specifications for a new naval fighter to be used from aircraft carriers. Based on the P-35, Seversky presented a modified navalized version known as the NF-1 (where NF stood for Naval Fighter). Externally, the NF-1 differed from the P-35 by the use of an edged-shaped cockpit windshield, and arrester hook under the tail and an enlarged rudder surface. Further, the NF-1 had a different type of engine with modified engine covering.

It was test flown by Seversky pilots in June-July 1937. On 24 September 1937 it was handed over to the Anacostia Naval Air Station for a number of comparative trials with competitive designs. It was flown in bare metal colours carrying the civil registration for experimental types X1254. During test flights, low-speed handling qualities were found to be insufficient and the Navy rejected the type. Also the actually measured top speed of barely 400 km/h, which fell even below the manufacturer’s own specification, was regarded as too low. The U.S Navy type designation for the NF-1 was XFN-1. Originally this was reserved for a biplane fighter from the Naval Aircraft Factory which was never built, although the BuAer registration number A8978 was already assigned. As far as known, the NF-1 never flew in military markings. It seems the type designation XFN-1 was just an administrative ‘book-keeping’ procedure after rejection of the NF-1. The designation NF-1 was strictly used by Seversky, most likely for publicity reasons. For the comparative testing program at Anacostia, the streamlined main wheel covers were removed to increase low-speed stability. Also the original edge shaped windshield was later replaced by a curved standard P-35 windshield.

The winner of this naval fighter competition was Brewster with its F2A Buffalo.

Technical details:
Power plant: Wright R-1820-22 Cyclone nine cylinder radial engine of 950 hp
Sizes: wingspan 10.97 m
length 7.44 m
height 2.77 m
wing area 20.44 m2
Weights: empty weight 1823 kg
loaded weight 2373 kg
Performances: max. speed 430 km/h at 4570 m
service ceiling not stated
range 1570 km
Armament: one 7.62 mm and one 12.7 mm machine gun on top of the engine for the production version
Accommodation: pilot
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Last edited by Pilot; 16th February 2007 at 21:16.
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