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Boeing’s F4B / P-12

6 January 2012

Boeing’s F4B / P-12

The U.S. Navy commissioned Boeing to build a modern fighter in 1930 and designated it the F4B. The design performed well enough for the U.S. Army to purchase them, as well, designating them the P-12. Eventually, the U.S. Army Air Corps (ancestor to the USAF) bought over half of the total production.

At least three are on display. One each: in the National Naval Aviation Museum, the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force  and the National Air & Space Museum on the National Mall.

Boeing F4B at the National Naval Aviation Museum, with spare engine — photo by Joseph May

Boeing P-12 in the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force — photo by Joseph May

Boeing F4B at the Smithsonian National Air & Space Museum (the fairing aft of the headrest contained a life raft) — photo by Joseph May

Wingman’s view of an F4B, note the long barrel of the gun/bomb sight — photo by Joseph May

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Additional information:

The National Museum of the U.S. Air Force has a fact sheet on the P-12

The National Air & Space Museum on the National Mall has a fact sheet on the F4B.

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