Monthly Archives: March 2015

Whatever happened to the N3N-1?

I have always wondered why we don’t see any N3N-1 aircraft. The only intact N3N-1 is in the country of Chile (South America), shown in this photo:
0719 CC-DME

I am only aware of one existing N3N-1 (partial) airframe in the United States.

The N3N-3 has a survival rate of about 20%. With a production run of 180 aircraft, how come so few N3N-1 aircraft survive? If they survived at the same rate as the N3N-3 there ought to be a couple of dozen out there.

Like the discussions in the recent post about the BT-13, a major part of the answer lies in the commercial aspects. In a recent phone call, Ken Burnham gave the most important clue – the CAA (Civil Aeronautics Administration, the predecessor to the FAA) never type certified the N3N-1. So there were never any standard category N3N-1 airworthiness certificates issued.

It is hard to find documentation on CAA regulations.  I wonder if the restricted category (Agricultural) required conversion from an aircraft with a standard category aircraft?  If so, then perhaps there were no legal N3N-1 agricultural aircraft. Or else the process was so burdensome that few bothered to jump through the paperwork hoops.  I have heard rumors of an operator in Mississippi who was flying an N3N-1 as agricultural aircraft, but I have seen no documentation.

Anyone have additional information on N3N-1 ag operations?


Welcome to The N3N Blog!

Welcome to the world of the N3N. If this is your first visit, check out the “ABOUT” page (above) to learn about the Naval Aircraft Factory N3N aircraft (and the blog name). Other popular pages are the “FLEET” page showing all the intact aircraft (over 75 80 85 90 95) that I have located thus far and we are continually adding content to the historic photos pages. (This post is a “sticky”, it will stay as the top post. New posts will appear below, newest first.)