Gruman E1 C Avenger

The Grumman E-1C Avenger was introduced in 1936, marking a radical departure from the E-1 series design. Like the modern E-1C model, the original E-1 model could reach speeds up to 250 mph, powered by a pair of air-cooled Feldman engines. Twin engines on a craft of this size was unusual, though it allows for a mix of speed and fuel efficiency; the E-1’s operational range is almost fifty percent more than aircraft of comparable size.

The modern Avenger, the E-1C, retained the E-1’s twin-engine configuration, but made radical alterations to armor and weapons. The E-1C’s armament was upgraded substantially—two of the craft’s cannons were changed to .60-caliber guns (replacing the original .30-caliber cannons) and the remaining six were fire-linked to improve shot-grouping. The aircraft also received additional cockpit armor, which greatly increased pilot survival rate.

The E-1C operates primarily as an interceptor, though a handful serve as reconnaissance or light-strike craft. The Avenger’s mediocre maneuverability and armor make this aircraft a poor choice for dogfighting; the Avenger rarely serves as an escort.

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