• Status: On display
  • Airworthiness: Under restoration to flying condition
  • Type: Bomber
  • Built: 1945
  • Serial Number: USN 53858
  • Construction Number: 3920
  • Civil Registration: C-GCWG
  • Current Markings: RCN 86180
  • Length: 40 ft 11 in
  • Wingspan: 54 ft 2 in
  • Power: 1,900 hp
  • Engine: 1 x Wright R-2600-20 Cyclone
  • Maximum Speed: 276 mph
  • Cruising Speed: 147 mph
  • Service Ceiling: 25,000 ft
  • Range: 1,300 miles

Aircraft Description

The prototype XTBF-1 first flew from Grumman Aircraft at Bethpage, Long Island, NY, in August 1941 and by January 1942 the first production aircraft were coming off the lines. A small number of TBF-1s reached the Pacific in late spring 1942 and were immediately thrown into the Battle of Midway, June 1942.

Demand for the Avenger, as it was now called, quickly surpassed Grumman’s production capacity and by mid 1942, GM Eastern Aircraft Division was manufacturing the TBM as well, at its Trenton, NJ facilities. When production ceased at the end of the war, a total of 9,839 Avengers had been built; 2,293 by Grumman and 7,546 by GM Eastern Aircraft Division.

The Grumman Avenger was a US naval carrier based torpedo bomber or anti submarine aircraft and a major contributor to winning the sea battles of the Second World War. Produced in large numbers, it saw much action with both the US and Royal Navies in both the Pacific and Atlantic war zones.

In 1950, Royal Canadian Navy (RCN) anti submarine Squadrons, VS 880 and 881 were equipped with modernized Avengers. These aircraft were fitted with a magnetic anomaly detector boom, sophisticated radar and wing mounted rockets. Later, airborne early warning radar Avengers were acquired, which carried large under fuselage radomes. The RCN retired the Avenger in 1956, in favour of the superior Grumman Tracker for anti submarine patrols.

The Museum's Avenger is a TBM-3E built by General Motors, Eastern Aircraft Division in 1945. It flew with the US Navy until the early 1950s, when it was phased out. Later it was converted to a spray plane and operated in California, from 1963 to 1972. In 1976, Forest Protection Ltd, New Brunswick, purchased it and the aircraft continued to fly in a similar role, until it was finally retired from commercial service in 1992. In 2000, it was sold to a French aircraft preservation group, but they were unable to arrange transport for it across the Atlantic. The Museum acquired the Avenger with the help of a generous donor in late 2009.

© Canadian Warplane Heritage 2024