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Author Topic: Northrop N-3PB Nomad Seaplane  (Read 7412 times)

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Northrop N-3PB Nomad Seaplane
« on: October 14, 2012, 06:04:17 AM »

Hi all!!
Perhaps many of you have heard about this plane, not so long ago  I found the pictures on the web and I have to say that it is a very nice plane.  I think Northrop can be a valuable addition to the game.

In 1940 Northrop received an order from a Norwegian Buying Commission for the design and construction of a single-engine monoplane patrol bomber with twin floats. The Norwegian order covered 24 aircraft, and in less than eight months the Northrop N-3PB prototype flew, on 1 November 1940, powered by an 895kW Wright Cyclone GR-1820 radial engine. It attained a speed of 414km/h and was then claimed to be the world's fastest military seaplane. Norway was invaded by the Germans shortly after the contract had been awarded, and the N-3PBs were therefore delivered to a unit of the Royal Norwegian Naval Air Service, operating as an RAF unit from unimproved coastal sites in Iceland on anti-submarine patrol and convoy escort duties. All maintenance had to be performed in the open, often under extremely harsh environmental conditions, and during 19 months of 1941-42 several were lost during water landings in severe arctic weather, but there were no losses due to enemy action. An aircraft was destroyed as late as 1965, in the collapse of a snow-laden hangar, but in the early 1980s an N-3PB was located and restored in Norwegian colours by the manufacturers.

Northrop N-3PB in "Little Norway" colours, c. 1941
The Northrop N-3PB Nomad was a single-engined American floatplane of the 1940s. Northrop developed the N-3PB as an export model based on the earlier Northrop A-17 design. A total of 24 were purchased by Norway, but were not delivered until after the Fall of Norway during the Second World War. Exiled Norwegian forces used them from 1941, operating from Iceland, for convoy escort, anti-submarine patrols, and training purposes from "Little Norway" in Canada. Within two years of delivery, the design was effectively obsolete in its combat role, and the remaining N-3PBs were replaced by larger aircraft in 1943.

The Northrop N-3PB No. 320-"U" Story

On April 25th 1941 the first Norwegian Naval Squadron was officially established at its new base at Reykjavik, Iceland. It had been decided to equip the new 330 Squadron with the N-3PBs, and on May 19th, 18 aircraft arrived in Iceland onboard the Norwegian merchant vessel "Fjordheimn". Twelve N-3PBs were immediately put together. The squadron was divided into three flights, "A"-flight being based at Reykjavik, "B"-flight being based at Akureiry in Northern Iceland, and "cn-flight being based at Budareiry in Eastern Iceland. Three aircraft were given to each flight, with the remaining six being kept as a reserve, being gradually put into operation following losses.

The first operational sortie by the N-3PB was flown out of Reykjavik on June 23rd 1941, the aircraft being piloted by Lieutenant A. Stansberg. The squadron was inspected for the first time by the head of Royal Air Force Coastal Command, Air Chief Marshal Sir Philip B. Joubert de la Ferte on July 11th.

The story of 330 (Norwegian) Squadron in Iceland can fill several books. From 1941 until the summer of 1943, the Squadron was moved to Scotland. While in Scotland, a total of 7473 flying hours were logged. Of these, 4272 hours were flown during 1041 operational sorties. Missions included: 246 anti-V-boat missions; 379 convoy escort missions; 250 reconnaissance flights and 18 ambulance flights. During the operations in Iceland, the squadron lost 21 men and 10 N-3PBs. The squadron was accredited with 15 V-boats spotted. Nine V-boats were attacked and seven were damaged. N-3PB's were also accredited with damage to eight enemy aircraft.

In the spring of 1943, the squadron moved to Scotland. Here they were re-equipped with the Short Sunderland flyingboats. During April and May of 1943, a number ofN-3PBs were transferred from Akurairy and Budareiry to Reykjavik to be scrapped. On April 21, 1943, N-3PB No. 320 _"V", took off from Budareiry to Reykjavik. The pilot onboard was Wsewolod Bulukin and the wireless operator was LeifRustad. On route to Reykjavik, the crew encountered heavy snow-showers. They were forced to land on the glacier river Thjorsa. The aircraft was wrecked during the landing. Fortunately, both crew members swam ashore to safety, and were able to get back to their squadron within a few days. Meanwhile, back in the river, the N-3PB sank down into mud and water.

Thirty six years later, N-3PB No. 320 was successfully salvaged from the Thjorsa river in Iceland. This was accomplished through a joint effort of Icelandic, Norwegian, British and American volunteers. In November 1979, the wreck was flown to the Northrop Aircraft Division plant at Hawthorne, California to be fully restored. A year later, on November 10th, 1980, the only remaining example of the Northrop N-3PB was proudly rolled out at the Northrop Aircraft Division plant, following a complete restoration.

Military operators
  Norway Royal Norwegian Navy Air Service No. 330(N) Squadron RAF
 The Flyvåpnenes Treningsleir (FTL), "Little Norway" Training Unit
Specifications (N-3PB)
General characteristics
 Crew: Three (pilot, navigator/bombardier and wireless operator/rear gunner)
 Length: 36 ft 0 in (10.98 m)
 Wingspan: 48 ft 11 in (14.91 m)
 Height: 12 ft 0 in (3.66 m)
 Wing area: 376.8 ft² (35.0 m²)
 Empty weight: 6,190 lb (2,814 kg)
 Loaded weight: 8,500 lb (3,864 kg)
 Max. takeoff weight: 10,600 lb (4,818 kg)
 Powerplant: 1 × Wright GR-1820-G205A 9-cylinder air-cooled radial engine, 1,200 hp (825 kW)
 Maximum speed: 223 knots (257 mph, 414 km/h) at sea level
 Cruise speed: 160 knots (184 mph, 296 km/h)
 Range: 870 nm (1,000 mi, 1,610 km)
 Service ceiling: 24,000 ft (7,320 m)
 Climb to 15,000 ft (4,570 m): 14.4 min
 4 × fixed forward firing .50 in machine guns
 2 × .30 in machine guns (dorsal and ventral positions)
 Bombs: 1 × 2,000 lb torpedo or equivalent weight of bombs or depth charges

Thank you. :)


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Re: Northrop N-3PB Nomad Seaplane
« Reply #1 on: October 14, 2012, 07:09:16 AM »

Ok, I love seaplanes so you know its a +1 from. :)
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Re: Northrop N-3PB Nomad Seaplane
« Reply #2 on: October 14, 2012, 07:35:14 AM »


David Prosser

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Re: Northrop N-3PB Nomad Seaplane
« Reply #3 on: October 14, 2012, 10:18:32 AM »

Hi, SAS~Bombsaway . Works for me too.


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Re: Northrop N-3PB Nomad Seaplane
« Reply #4 on: October 14, 2012, 10:32:52 AM »

Huge fan of seaplanes!!! Hope someone makes this (right after a Grumman Goose)!  I love the camo on this little guy!


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Re: Northrop N-3PB Nomad Seaplane
« Reply #5 on: October 14, 2012, 11:27:30 AM »

Like seaplanes and like old Northrops*cough* (http://www.sas1946.com/main/index.php/topic,13260.msg139248.html#msg139248) so I naturally love to see this plane too!


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Re: Northrop N-3PB Nomad Seaplane
« Reply #6 on: October 14, 2012, 01:53:04 PM »

Holy Crap! where have this beauty been hiding all this time? first time i see her and i can tell you i'm in love!


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Re: Northrop N-3PB Nomad Seaplane
« Reply #7 on: October 14, 2012, 02:33:48 PM »

What a beautiful plane!!!
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