A Primary Trainer designed by the US Navy’s Bureau of Aeronautics, the N3N was built by the Naval Aircraft Factory at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and was that facility’s most numerous product. The design was originated in 1934 and was a relatively advanced type in its time. The fuselage structure is of aluminum angle and plate, covered with a combination of fabric and removable aluminum panels. The flying surfaces are covered with fabric. Although the N3N had the semi-official moniker of “Canary”, it was more commonly known as the “Yellow Peril” (a name it sometimes shared with the Stearman N2S Primary Trainer)
Most N3Ns were removed from service soon after the end of WWII, but some remained in service for many more years; as late as 1961, some float-equipped N3Ns were still serving at the US Naval Academy as the US armed forces’ last biplane.
The Houston Wing’s aircraft is an N3N-3, and is equipped with a 300 HP Lycoming engine. It has a variable pitch propeller, non-retractable landing gear and an open tandem cockpit. About 870 N3N-3’s were built. This aircraft was returned to flight status after an eight-year restoration project.
Naval Aircraft Factory
One NAF-built Wright R-760-2 Whirlwind radial piston engine rated at 240 hp for take-off *
Wingspan 34 ft 0 in
Length 25 ft 6 in
Height 10 ft 10 in
Operational weights: Empty 2,090 lb; maximum take-off 2,792 lb
Maximum level speed ‘clean’ 109 kt (126 mph) at sea level; cruising speed 78 kt (90 mph) at optimum attitude
Maximum range 408 nm (470 miles)
* The Houston Wing N3N-3 has a Lycoming R-680 engine, rated at 300 HP, instead of the standard NAF-Wright powerplant.