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Grumman TBM-3E
Photo ID: 1011592
click image to enlarge
Model: Grumman TBM-3E Avenger Registration: N4170A
Year: 1944-45 Serial Number: BuNo 91453, c/n 4358
Engine(s): Wright R2600-20, 1900-HP, 14-Cyl, twin row radia Owner: Christopher E. Johnson, Jane D. Johnson, William R. Klares, Alan Wodciak, Manassas, VA
Location: Tennessee Museum of Aviation, Sevierville, TN Photographer: Ken Stoltzfus
Date: March, 2004 Present Registration: Same Present Owner (FAA info): Same
Notes: 2/25/05 - Grumman TBM-3E Avengers were built by the Eastern Aircraft Division of General Motors in their Trenton, NJ plant. The comparable aircraft built by Grumman in their Bethpage, NY plant would have been a TBF. N4170A is painted as U.S. Marines VMT 232, #15.

The TBM was a carrier based Torpedo Bomber which saw a lot of action in WW-II. Our family owned a number of them in the 1950-60's and I hope to have some photos posted soon. We used them for forest spraying and fire fighting.

In May 1957 the Naval Supply Center in Norfolk, VA sold this aircraft to Wilson Aviation Industries of Orofino, ID. In July it went to Reeder Flying Service, Twin Falls, ID. An FAA '337 in May 1958 says, "All unnecessary military equipment removed including turret, armor plate, gun mounts and rocket launchers. Installed 850-gallon spray tank and flight tested with a special purpose load of #6800." It was certificated in Restricted Category.

In September 1984 it was sold to James R. Williams, O'Brien, OR; 4/86 registered to James Rockefeller Williams, Berkeley, CA; 3/86 Certificated in Experimental Category for Exhibition, aircraft total time 3471-hours; 1/87 Certificated in Limited Category, 3543-TTAF; 7/95 Sold to John R. Carson, Santa Barbara, CA for $225,000, later Joan T. Carson added as partner; 7/98 To Christopher E and Jane D. Johnson, Manassas, VA for $180,000; 9/98, added co-owners, William R. Klaers and Alan J. Wodciak.
Grumman TBM Torpedo Bomber
Photo ID: 1011593
click image to enlarge
Notes: The door on the side of the fuselage there lets you into the aft fuselage area, which is quite large.

There are a couple of spring loaded covers on the side just behind the wing. They flip inward when you stick your toe in, and you climb up onto the wing.
Photographer: Ken Stoltzfus
Eastern Aero Division, TBM
Photo ID: 1011594
click image to enlarge
Notes: The TBM has one machine gun in the turret behind the canopy. You can see a hand-grip there for helping you up on the wing.
Photographer: Ken Stoltzfus
Grumman TBM, TBF tail hook
Photo ID: 1011595
click image to enlarge
Notes: The tail hook for carrier landings. There was an aft-facing gunner in the belly. I can't imagine that being a very comfortable position!
Photographer: Ken Stoltzfus
Grumman TBM, wings folded
Photo ID: 1011596
click image to enlarge
Notes: This aircraft is currently certificated in Limited Category under Limited Type Certificate No. 8, or LTC-8, which was issued to Air Trading Corp, NY, NY in March, 1947. Take-Off weight is #17,600, Landing weight #15,500. Speeds are given as: Max glide or dive, 355-MPH; Landing gear extension, 230-MPH; Do not raise landing gear above 170-MPH.

LTC-8 also says, "This placard must be in full view of the passengers: 'This is a military type aircraft and under the Civil Air Regulations shall not be used for the carriage of passengers or cargo for compensation or hire.'"
Photographer: Ken Stoltzfus
Grumman TBM, TBF Carrier Based
Photo ID: 1011597
click image to enlarge
Notes: A short cable runs from the wing tip to the stabilizer to hold the wing in the folded position. You have to push it up into that position manually
Photographer: Ken Stoltzfus
Grumman TBM, TBF Photos
Photo ID: 1011598
click image to enlarge
Notes: Your wing hinge mechanism, with the hydraulic cylinder toward the front of the center-section to hold it in the extended position.
Photographer: Ken Stoltzfus
Grumman TBF, TBM Torpedo Bopmber
Photo ID: 1011599
click image to enlarge
Notes: The bomb bay held around #2000 pounds of weapons. When we converted them to spray or fire-fighter configuration we removed the hydraulically operated doors and slid a tank of around 800-gallon capacity into the opening. Payload as a sprayer was nearly #7000!
Photographer: Ken Stoltzfus
Wright R-2600 Aircraft Engine
Photo ID: 1011600
click image to enlarge
Notes: This is your 14-cylinder, twin-row, 1900-HP, Wright R2600-20 engine with a Hamilton Standard 23E50 propeller.
Photographer: Ken Stoltzfus
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