|Boeing F3B-1, U.S. Navy Photo|
|First flight||3 February 1928|
|Primary user||United States Navy|
|Number built||74 including the prototype|
|Developed from||Boeing F2B, FB-5|
The Boeing F3B was a biplane fighter and fighter bomber that served with the United States Navy from 1928 into the early 1930s.
Designed by the company as its Model 74, the plane was an incremental improvement over the F2B. The Navy-designated prototype XF3B-1 still had the tapered wings of the F2B for instance, but was built as a single-float seaplane using the FB-5 undercarriage. However, the growing use of aircraft carriers took away most of the need for floating fighters, and by the time other test results had been taken into account, the production F3B-1 (Model 77) had a larger upper wing that was slightly swept back and a redesigned tail with surfaces made from corrugated aluminum. It also eliminated the spreader bar arrangement of the undercarriage and revised the vertical tail shape.
It first flew on 3 February 1928, turning in a respectable performance and garnering Boeing a contract for 73 more. F3Bs served as fighter-bombers for some four years with the squadrons VF-2B aboard USS Langley, VB-2B aboard USS Saratoga (later VF-6B), and VB-1B on USS Lexington, during which period some were fitted with Townend rings and others with streamlined wheel fairings. The aircraft remained in first-line service to 1932 and were then retained as "hacks" (command and staff transports) for several more years.
Data from The Complete Encyclopedia of World Aircraft