Aircraft [Grumman TBF-1C Avenger NZ2527/ZK CBO]
Maker and role
Grumman Aircraft Engineering Corporation, Manufacturer
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Over 10,000 Avengers were built during World War II (1939-45), and over 1000 of those went into service with the Fleet Air Arm. Their folding wings allowed many aircraft to be stored on the deck of an aircraft carrier.
The RNZAF operated 49 Avengers, although only 12 were still in service by the end of the War. Most of the RNZAF Avengers were used by two successive squadrons (30 and 31) based at Piva Bomber strip, Bougainville in the Solomon Islands.
MOTAT’s Avenger was one of two sent to Fiji in 1944 for use by the Communications Flight in Nausori, Fiji. After the War it was used as a target tug (for firing practice) at the Ohakea Air Force Base, and was later sold to Barr Brothers to be used as a topdressing aircraft but was never used that way. The Rotorua City Council donated it to MOTAT after it had outlived its use as playground equipment in Kuirau Park. It is one of four surviving Avengers in New Zealand.
Manufacturer: Grumman Aircraft Engineering Corporation, Long Island, N.Y.
Type: Three-seat torpedo bomber
Wing span: 16.5 m Folded: 5.8 m
Length: 12.2 m
Engine: One 1700 HP Wright R-2600-8 14-cylinder radial air-cooled engine
Armament: One 30 calibre machine gun in cowling, one fixed 50 calibre gun in each outer wing, one 50 calibre gun in power-operated turret, one 30 calibre gun in ventral hatch, bomb bay carried one torpedo, one 2000 lb bomb or four 500 lb bombs