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Boeing 83 / 89

Boeing 99 F4B

Boeing100 / 102 P-12



Boeing 89 second prototype

Both Models 83 and 89 were Navy designated Boeing XF4B-1 fighters. The dfference was the Model 83 had a spreader-bar axle landing gear, and an arrester hook. The Boeing Model 89 had a split-axle landing gear so that a 500 lb bomb could be carried beneath the fuselage.

A private venture built at Boeing’s expense, the XF4B-1 first flew on 7 August 1928. It was placed in production as the Boeing 99 for the Navy F4B-1 series and Model 102 for Army P-12 series, 27 were ordered as F4B-1, and was first delivered in July 1928.

The P-12 was constructed of dural tubing, fabric covered and having wooden wings with corrugated metal control surfaces. Powered by a Pratt & Whitney R-1340 Wasp of 450 hp, the top speed was 171 mph and ceiling 29,000 ft fully loaded.

Model 102 P-12

One XP-12A was built as a test vehicle for the newly NACA cowl. The fuselage was flared to conform to the enlarged nose and shorter landing gear was installed. The XP-12A was a modification of the 10th production P-12. It was later destroyed in a crash.

The original P-12 and P-12B were the only two P-12 models that were not equipped with a speed-ring cowl.


The USAAC ordered ten aircraft similar to the F4B-1 in late 1928, accepting the naval evaluation as being correct. Designated P-12, these differed only by having the arrester hook and other specifically naval equipment deleted. P-12B, of which 90 were built with 317kW Wasp engines, differed very slightly with Frise balanced ailerons and internal improvements and were followed by 96 P-12C, which were similar to the Navy's F4B-2. P-12D, of which 35 were built, had a more powerful 391kW Wasp engine.

The P-12C and P-12D models were improved models and utilised improved and heavier constructed cross-axle landing gear and a speed ring cowl around a Pratt & Whitney Wasp of 550 hp. Many P-12C and D models were fitted later with P-12E type vertical tail surfaces to give better control.

The P-12E introduced an all metal monocopue fuselage with greater greater structural rigidity of the fuselage for higher G loads. Most extensively built of the Army versions was the P-12E. This had a pilot's headrest faired by a turtleback and the more powerful engine of the P-12D. A total of 135 were ordered in 1931, many remaining in service until replaced by P-26A in 1935. The last few of the order were given 447kW / 550 hp Pratt & Whitney R-1340-19 Wasp engines and the designation P-12F. The P-12F had a top speed of 195 mph and ceiling of 32,000 ft.

The P-12F had a swivel tail wheel in place of a skid. All P-12s in service were later fitted with tail wheels.

Model 218 c/n 1260

The Boeing Model 218 (XP-925H) was the prototype of the P-12E/F4B-3 series. With a 500 hp Pratt & Whitney Wasp engine the P-12E had a top speed of over 190 mph and a service ceiling of 27,000 ft fully loaded.
One P-12E was fitted with a special cockpit enclosure and others had “Panama Conversion Kits” installed.

Experimental test models included;
XP-12G – turbo-supercharged Wasp engine and 3 blade propeller.
XP-12H – basic P-12D with a geared Wasp engine instead of the usual direct drive.
P-12L – engine test model.
P-12J – engine test model.
P-12K – P-12Es modified for fuel injection.

Forty-six F4B-2, delivered in early 1931, had the spreader-bar axle, a tailwheel, Frise ailerons and a neat ring cowling for the engine. They were followed by 21 F4B-3 with a semi-monocoque metal fuselage and 92 F4B-4 which differed by having a larger fin and rudder.




The F4B-3 and P-12E were identical except for the carrier hook, cabane wire, and double row of rivets, and a tall radio mast on the F4B-3. The F4B-4 served the US Navy and US Marines.


F4B3 Marines

The Boeing 100 of 1929 was an ATC’d civil version of the P-12 built as a sport plane and for export. They were lighter in weight and the early models resembled the P-12B in appearance. Seven were built and owners included Howard Hughes, Art Goebel, Tex Rankin and Paul Mantz, as well as several foreign governments. Howard Hughes one was delivered as a two-seater as Model 100-A. Hughes soon had it reconverted to one seat, and it survived as such until 1958.



Model 100-A

The Japanese imported a civil Boeing 100 and two Boeing 100Es were exported to Siam in September 1931.

Boeing 100E

One Boeing 100E survives on display at the Kings Museum, Bangkok, Thailand.

Fourteen F4B-4s were exported to Brazil before World War 2.

A total of 554 in the P-12 – F4B series were built, 110 of which were P-12Es. The one surviving P-12E is on display in “The Air Museum”, Ontario International Airport, Ontario, Canada.

Boeing 100E

P-12/F4Bs saw service in Panama, Hawaii and the Phillipines. A few went to China and one of them was the first American made plane to shoot down a Japanese plane in combat prior to World War 2.

Two F4B-4 Navy aircraft were released to the CAA Air Safety Board during the early 1930s. Later sold to private buyers, they were used in many pre-war and post-war airshows. One was owned by Hyland Flying Service, Rochester, New York, was later acquired by the Smithsonian Institute and placed on loan to the Navy Museum, fully restored.





75% replica: Reid Boeing P-12E


Boeing 83 / XF4B-1

Number built: 1
Serial number / Registration: 8129
First flight: 25 June 1928
Bought by Navy 19 June 1929.

Boeing 89 / XF4B-1

Number built: 1
Serial number / Registration: 8128
First flight: 7 August 1928
Bought by Navy 19 June 1929.
Armament: 500 lb bomb

Boeing 99 / F4B-1
Number built: 27
Serial number / Registration: 8130-8156
First flight: 6 May 1929
Production version of 89. Navy sn8133 converted to executive model.


Boeing F4B / P-12
Engine: 1 x Pratt & Whitney R-1340-D Wasp
Length: 20.08ft (6.12m)
Width: 29.99ft (9.14m)
Height: 9.32ft (2.84m)
Empty Weight: 2,355lbs (1,068kg)
Maximum Take-Off Weight: 3,611lbs (1,638kg)
Maximum Speed: 188mph (303kmh; 164kts)
Maximum Range: 370miles (595km)
Rate-of-Climb: 1,666ft/min (508m/min)
Service Ceiling: 26,903ft (8,200m)
Armament: 2 x 7.62mm machine guns
Accommodation: 1

Boeing 100
Number built: 4
Serial number / Registration: NS-21, NC872H, C873H, NC874H
First flight: 18 October 1929
Civil version of 83/89.

Boeing 100A
Number built: 1
Serial number / Registration: 247K
First flight: 26 July 1929
Howard Hughes 2 seat version.

Boeing 100E
Number built: 2
Serial number / Registration:
First flight:
Siam P-12E export version.

Boeing 100F
Number built: 1
Serial number / Registration: X10696
First flight: 20 June 1932
Civil P-12F testbed for Pratt & Whitney.

Boeing 101 / XP-12A
Number built: 1
Serial number / Registration: 29-362
First flight: 10 May 1929
Destroyed in mid-air collision.

Boeing 102 / P-12
Number built: 9
Serial number / Registration: 29-353 – 29-361
First flight: 11 April 1929
83, 89 Army version.

Engine: Pratt & Whitney R-1340 Wasp, 450 hp
Top speed: 171 mph
Ceiling at MAUW: 29,000 ft

Boeing 102B / P-12B
Number built: 90
Serial number / Registration: 29-329 – 29-341, 29-433 – 29-450, 30-29 – 30-87
First flight: 12 May 1930

Engine: Pratt & Whitney R-1340 Wasp, 317kW

Boeing 218 / XP-925
Number built: 1
Serial number / Registration: X66W
First flight: 29 September 1930
Army revised P-12B, prototype P-12E & F4B-3.

Engine: Pratt & Whitney R-1340 Wasp, 500 hp
Top speed: 190+ mph
Service ceiling at MAUW: 27,000 ft

Boeing 222 / P-12C

Number built: 96
Serial number / Registration: 31-147 – 31-229, 31-230 – 31-242
First flight: 31 January 1931
131 ordered, last 35 built as P-12D.

Engine: Pratt & Whitney R-1340 Wasp, 391kW / 550 hp

Boeing 223 / F4B-2
Number built: 46
Serial number / Registration: 8806, 8613-8639, 8791-8809
Engine: Pratt & Whitney R-1340 Wasp, 391kW / 550 hp

Boeing 227 / P-12D
Number built: 35
Serial number / Registration: 31-243 – 31-277
First flight: 2 March 1931
Improved P-12C, last 35 P-12C built as P-12D.

Engine: Pratt & Whitney R-1340 Wasp, 391kW / 550 hp
Top speed: 188mph

Boeing 234 / P-12E
Number built: 110
Serial number / Registration: 31-553 – 31-586, 32-1 – 32-76
First flight: 15 October 1931
Production 218 models, 1 converted to P-12J, 7 to P-12K.

Engine: Pratt & Whitney R-1340E Wasp, 391kW / 550 hp, 500 hp at 6000 ft
Engine compression ration: 6:1
Overall span (Upper): 30 ft
Length: 20 ft 4 11/16 in
Height: 8 ft 9 in
Airfoil section: Boeing 106
Total wing area: 227.5 sq.ft
Upper wing span: 30 ft
Upper wing chord: 60 in
Upper wing diherdral: 0 degs
Upper wing area: 141.4 sq. ft
Lower wing span: 26 ft 4 in
Lower wing chord: 45 in
Lower wing diherdral: 2 degs
Lower wing area: 86.1 sq. ft
Empty weight: 1981.5 lb
Fuel: 300 lb
Wing loading: 11.75 lb/sq.ft
Loaded weight: 2674.3 lb
Landing speed; 59 mph
Cruise speed: 167 mph
Max speed: 190 mph
Range at cruise: 475 miles
Armament: 2 x .30 Browning 30M mg or 1 x .30 mg and 1 x .50 mg, and 2 x M-3 bombs

Boeing 235 / F4B-3
Number built: 21
Serial number / Registration: 8891-8911
Production 218 models.

Engine: Pratt & Whitney R-1340D Wasp, 391kW / 550 hp
Speed: 187 mph at 6000 ft
Empty weight: 2200 lb
Armament: 2 x .30 Browing mg or 1 x .30 and 1 x .50 cal mg

Boeing 235 / F4B-4

Number built: 92
Serial number / Registration: 8912-8920, 9009-9053, 9226-9263
Improved F4B-3, larger tail. 14 to Brazil.

Engine: Pratt & Whitney R-1340D Wasp, 500 hp
Speed: 187 mph at 6000 ft
Empty weight: 2312 lb
Armament: 2 x .30 Browing mg or 1 x .30 and 1 x .50 cal mg

Boeing 251 / P-12F
Number built: 25
Serial number / Registration: 31-77 – 31-101
Improved P-12E.

Engine: Pratt & Whitney R-1340-19 Wasp, 447kW / 550 hp
Top speed: 195 mph
Ceiling: 32,000 ft

Boeing 256 / “1932”
Number built: 14
Export F4B-4s from Navy order to Brazil.

Boeing 267 / F4B-3 / P-12E
Number built: 9
F4B-3 fuselage, P-12E wings. Light export model to Brazil.

turbo-supercharged Wasp engine and 3 blade propeller.

basic P-12D with a geared Wasp engine instead of the usual direct drive.

engine test model.

engine test model.

P-12Es modified for fuel injection.





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