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"I am writing regarding the P-51A... (Serial #). She was sitting on jacks at Cal Aero Tech when I attended A/C maintenance training there in June of 1951. I often felt sadness for that aircraft, as I was sure it was destined for the bone yard. You cannot imagine the thrill it gave me to run across your museum and see her so beautiful and know she was safe. It made me misty-eyed. I honor you for maintaining a beautiful legacy."
James H., Clarkson, WA
James H., Clarkson, WA
Grumman/General Motors TBM-3E
- Introduced in 1941, the Grumman TBF/TBM Avenger was to become the U.S. Navy’s standard torpedo-bomber throughout World War II.
- Production totalled more than 9,830, nearly three-quarters of them built under the designation TBM by the Eastern Aircraft division of General Motors.
- Those built by Grumman were designated TBF and affectionately called "Turkeys" by their crews.
- Assigned the US Navy bureau number 91264, Planes of Fame Air Museum’s Grumman TBM-3E Avenger (built by General Motors), was accepted into service on July 19, 1945.
- Placed in the pool of operational aircraft assigned to the USS Franklin (CV-13) in 1945, the fact that the aircraft carrier had been damaged that year and was not repaired in time to return to combat meant that this the Museum's Avenger did not see combat service.
- Served at NAS Weymouth, Massachusetts and at Norfolk, Virginia until August 1949 and eventually wound up at NAF El Centro, California where it was struck off charge on January 1, 1950.
- Obtained by Planes of Fame Air Museum in 1959 and licensed as N7835C and restored to flight in 1983.
- Took part in the 50th Anniversary of U.S. Naval Aviation ceremonies at NAS North Island, California in 1961
|Status: Flyable||Length: 40 ft. 0 in.|
|Manufacturer: General Motors||Height: 16 ft. 5 in.|
|Year: 1945||Maximum Speed: 267 mph|
|Model: TBM-3E Avenger||Cruise Speed: 145 mph|
|Serial Number: 91264||Power Plant: 1, 1,700-hp Wright R-2600-20 Double Cyclone
14-cylinder air-cooled radial engine
|Crew: 3||Range: 1,105 miles|
|Max T/O Weight: 17,364 lb.||Service Ceiling: 22,400 ft.|
|Span: 54 ft. 2 in.||Armament: 4 machine guns: two .50-cal forward, one turret .50-cal,
& one ventral .30-cal