Hi, my friend Gordon Birkett has sent me this email of a letter he found, about the differences between F2a and the British version of the aircraft, it reads as follows;
24 October 1940
Air Commodore Mansell
British Purchasing Commission
15 Broad Street
New York City, New York
Dear Air Commodore:
Listed below are the differences between the Navy F2A-2 and the British 339
E fighters, discussed by Mr. C. R. Fairey, British Purchasing Commission,
the Honorable James Forrestal, Under Secretary of the Navy, Mr. Phillip
Young, Treasury Department, Commander L. E. Richardson, Bureau of
Aeronautics, and representatives of this Company.
F2A-2 Navy Model 339 E British
1. 1820-40 Wright Engine 1. 1820-G105A Wright engine
2. Curtiss Electric Propeller 2. Hamilton Standard Propeller
3. Prop Cuffs 3. No cuffs
4. No shutters 4. Shutters
5. Navy Instrument arrangement 5. English Instrument arrangement
6. Navy seat 6. English seat
7. Navy Throttle 7. English Throttle
8. Electrical System 12V 8. Electrical System 24V
9. Battery 17 Amp hour 9 Battery 38 Amp
10. None 10. Flare and Release
11. Very Pistol 11. Recognition Device
12. Navy Radio 12. English Radio
13. Manual 5 lb. CO2 Fire Extinguisher 13. Manual heat temperature and
shock 5 lb. Fire Extinguisher
14. No fuel and oil protection 14. External Linotex protection
15. Cartridge Starter 15. Electrical Inertia Starter
16. Retractable carrier type tail wheel 16. Fixed pneumatic tail wheel
17. Inherent flotation 17. None
18. 200 rounds .50 calibre ammunition in each wing 18. 500 rounds .50
calibre ammunition in each wing
19. Navy camera on side of fuselage 19. Camera in wing
20. None 20. Jettisoning sliding canopy
21. Non Electrical 21. Electrical Pitot Tube
22. One landing light 22. Two landing lights
23. None 23. Upper and Lower identification lights
24. None 24. 1 qt. Hand fire extinguisher
25. None 25. Cockpit, windscreen, and wing gun heating
26. Telescopic Gun Sight 26. Reflector Gun Sight
It is understood that the differences in engines and propellers, items 1 and
2, were necessary on account of the procurement situation for these items.
Items 2, 3, and 4, should be grouped together in that the differences in the
cooling system are due to the fact that cuffs can not be installed on the
Hamilton Standard Propeller. It is understood that the Navy will adopt the
24 Volt system in future procurement ( Item 8 ). It is understood that the
additional battery capacity required by the British is due to the British
radio (Item 9). It is possible that item 13 can be standardized after
investigation. It is called to attention, however, that considerable weight
increase will be involved if the British fire extinguisher is used.
This Company is now investigating, in cooperation with the Bureau, a means
for providing leak-proof protection for the fuel and oil tanks (item 14).
If a satisfactory method can be developed, it is probable standardization
can be brought about.
It is understood that the British are willing to standardize on the
cartridge starter (item 15). It is very desirable to standardize on Items
18, 19, 20 and 21, in the event of future procurement.
Development of a dependable double filament bulb will permit standardization
on one landing light (Item 22).
It was agreed the British would eliminate the hand fire extinguisher thus
permitting standardization in item 24.
Investigation may permit standardization on items 11, 25 and 26.
It was stated by representatives of the contractor, that any attempt to
produce standardization on existing fighter contracts, would result in delay
Very truly yours.
BREWSTER AERONAUTICAL CORPORATION
R. D. MacCart
CC: Hon. James Forrestal
Mr. Phillip Young
Commdr. L. B. Richardson
Brewster Export Corp.
I hope this is found to be intresting, a real slice from the past.
Thanks Grodon, more info can be found at;
Australian Military Aircraft Serials and Aircraft History