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Northrop N-3PB no 320

Northrop N-3PB no. 320 Specifications

  • Manufacturer Northrop Aircraft, Inc., Hawthorne, California
  • Number Built 24
  • Wing Span 48 feet, 11 inches
  • Overall Length 38 feet
  • Overall Height 12 feet
  • Wing Area 376.8 sq. feet
  • Takeoff Weight 10,600 lbs.
  • Speed – Maximum 257 mph
  • Speed – Cruising 215 mph
  • Range 1,400 miles
  • Service Ceiling 28,400 fee
  • t Powerplant Wright Cyclone, Air Cooled, Radial, 1200 hp
  • Armament (4) 50-cal guns, (2) 30-cal guns, (1) 2,000 torpedo, or equivalent weight of bombs

The Northrop N-3PB bomber is a thre-place low-wing monoplane powered by a single Wright Cyclone 1820-40 engine. The floats were designed and constructed by the Edo Corporation. First flight-tested in 1940, then the N-3pb was soon identified as the world´s fastest miltary seaplane. All of the 24 N-3PBs were bulit for Norway during WW II.

This Northrop N-3PB no. 320 is the sole remaining of its kind, having been originally accepted from Northrop Inc. on 25 March 1941. After arrival at Reykjavik, it was assembled and allocated the code letters F.20 in June 1941. Much to the Norwegians’ dismay, RAF markings had to be introduced a month later and the N-3PB became GS-U.

Its first operatjon was flown on 5 August, an anti-sub¬marine sweep of almost six hours’ duration. On 11 October 1941, GS-U was transferred to the squadron’s C-Flight at Budareyri, on Iceland’s east toast, which apart from some short breaks, remained its base until it was withdrawn from use early 1943. Going into storage, GS-U ditched in the glacier river Thjorsa on its transfer flight 21 April 1943. It remained there until the late 1970’s, when the wreck was discovered by Icelandic aviation historians.

With assistance from Northrop Inc and the RNoAF, it was eventually recovered and brought to California in November 1979. A major restoration followed, during which some men who had worked on the original batch of 24 aircraft in 1940-41 tame back to lend a hand knocking one of them back into shape.

On 10 November 1980, Northrop handed the beautifully restored N-3PB back to the RNoAF, and the following year it was shipped first to Iceland for a brief display there and then finally on to Gardermoen for permanent display at The Norwegian Military’s Airplane Collection.