Boeing F4B-4 - Saratoga
Boeing F4B-4 Unites States Naval Air Service 1934
Boeing's F4B series entered service with U.S. Navy units in the summer of 1929, but the F4B-4, the most numerous of the series, did not follow until July 1932. Developed from the Army's P-12 fighter, the F4B was “navalized” with the addition of an optical gun sight, an arresting hook, and structurally reinforced undercarriage. The F4B-4 had a top speed of 184 mph and a range of 585 miles, which could be extended with a 55-gallon fuel tank fitted beneath the fuselage, seen here. Rugged and reliable, the F4B-4's debut coincided with operational advances aboard the new aircraft carriers Langley (CV1), Lexington (CV-2) and Saratoga (CV-3). The aircraft remained the Navy and Marine Corps' first-line fighter until replaced by faster and more powerful biplanes in the late 1930s. The aircraft shown is from Fighting Squadron 6B (VF-6B) aboard USS Saratoga.