Lockheed PV-2 Harpoon
Early 1942 the US navy needed a fast maritime patrol aircraft. It was likely to be based upon an existing type, such as the Lockheed (Vega) Model 37 Ventura.
This type was ordered by the British in 1940 to replace the Hudson and the Bristol Blenheim and was developed from the civil Lockheed Model 18 Lodestar. [Compare it with the Lockheed Hudson, which was developed from the Lockheed Model 14 Super Electra.]
Some of the almost 700 ordered Ventura’s went to the US.Navy under the designation PV-1 (1 = First; V = Vega-produced; P= Patrol-type).
The PV-1’s didn't have the glass nose configuration like the British Ventura's, but a solid nose, with ASD-1 radar.
A negative point was the rather small bomb compartment and the fact that there were only three position for placing bomb racks under the wings.
This was caused by its descent from the Lockheed Model 18. Also the range for the Ventura was to small for operational use in the Pacific area. For long distance missions two non self sealing fuel tanks of 200 gallon each were added and also two 165 gallon drop tanks could be carried under the wings.
Soon after the introduction of the PV-1 a team started with the development of the PV-2 harpoon, which would better comply with the needs of the US Navy.
Modifications of the PV-1 to get a PV-2
First the wing span was enlarged from 65 foot, 6 inch to 75 foot, so the internal fuel load was increased from 1345 to 1863 US Gallon and the wing load was lowered.
To keep the plane manoeuvrable with the enlarged wing, de tail was redesigned and enlarged.
Also the tail end was enlarged, thus improving the handling on the ground.
Furthermore some smaller improvements and changes were added:
- Larger bomb space, so two, in stead of one ‘Tiny Tim’ rockets could be carried. The doors were also changed.
- The canopy was change, to improve the sight for the crew.
- The interior was revised, so windows were re-located.
- The engine exhaust (inclusive interior heating system) where changed. Involving this modification the exhaust become longer and ended under the wing.
- The armament was extended to eight fixed forward firing .50 machine guns plus two moveable machine guns in a turret.
Due to the larger weight of the new plane its maximum speed was about 20 - 30 mph lower than the speed of the Ventura (because the same engines were used). Spring 1943 the new aircraft was handed over to the US Navy under the designation PV-2. The Navy accepted the airplane and ordered for 300 examples.
The first of this new order was delivered in March 1944. Soon problems occurred with the self sealing tanks in the wings. The 30 PV-2's already delivered received the designation PV-2C and were use for training purposes only, because the wing tanks could not be used.
Also the skin might wrinkle under certain flying conditions, so limitations of the diving angle and maximum speed were ordered.
This problem was soon solved and the aircraft already in use could be modified with reinforcements.
Some of the delivered PV-2s had a limited armament of five machine guns in the nose and received an other designation, PV-2D. At the end of the war half of the patrol squadrons of the US Navy used the PV-2 and the aircraft became the standard patrol aircraft of the US Navy after the war.
- PV-2 Harpoon:
- main production version: 470 examples built.
- modified version for training purposes: 30 examples built.
- 35 examples of a PV-2 with eight .50 machine guns in the nose in de neus.
- designation of PV-2 used for training of crews.
|Length:||15,9 m||Wingspan:||22,85 m|
|Height:||4,35 m||Wing area:||63 m2|
|Empty weight:||9538 kg||Max. start weight:||16329 kg|
|Max. speed:||415 km/hr||Climbing speed:||- m/min|
|Cruising speed:||275 km/hr|
|Range:||3735 km||Service ceiling:||- m|
|Engine type:||Two Pratt & Whitney R-2800-31S Twin Wasp rated 2000 hp each|
|Armament:||Two nose mounted .50 inch machine guns; Three .50 inch machine guns in a gun pack under the nose; two .50 inch machine guns in a ventral turret; two .50 inch machine guns under the fuselage; Eight 5 inch HVAR rockets under the wing. 1800 kg bombs.|