Sunday, August 21, 2016

The Scooter Jet And The Bomb Truck

Two Navy bombers from the piston and jet ages flew together at Thunder Over Michigan.

The Grumman TBM and the A-4 Skyhawk.

It was an amazing formation flyby from two classic warbirds.


Old 1811 said...

If it's a Grumman it's not a TBM. The "M" suffix meant "built by General Motors;" Grummans had an "F" suffix. A Grumman Avenger was a TBF and a TBM was a GM-built Avenger.
After 1943, Grumman went all Hellcat all the time and its entire line was taken over by GM. All Avengers made after 1943 were TBMs, and all Wildcats (F4Fs) made after 1943 were FM-2s.
I may not know a lot of things, but this is one thing I know something about.
Thank you. Rant over.

Aaron said...

The plane is a Grumman TBM-3E, so you're right it's made by GM.

While the model may have been built by General Motors, I've never heard it referred to as a GM Avenger. It's still called a Grumman on the airshow circuit and museums for the design. Sorta like how the B-24s made by Ford aren't called Ford B-24s.

Old 1811 said...

But the Navy nomenclature did specify the manufacturer. Grumman-built planes had an "F" suffix, and GM-built planes had an "M" suffix.
If two planes in the same squadron were built by different companies, one was a TBF and the other was a TBM. My late father's logbook (he flew 76 combat missions in Avengers) shows the difference.
The Avenger may be called a Grumman Avenger because it was a Grumman design, but the proper nomenclature for a TBM would be "a GM-built Grumman Avenger." I think.
My head hurts now. I either need more coffee, or I need to start my drinking earlier then usual.
All semantics aside, it looks like it was a fun show. I've never seen an Avenger (Grumman or GM) in the air, even though I would love to, for obvious reasons. The coolest thing I ever saw was a B-17 and a B-24 flying in formation. I would hate to have been on the wrong end of a couple hundred (or a thousand) of them.

Old 1811 said...

Incidentally, the Navy nomenclature for a B-24 was PB4Y (Patrol Bomber by North American). In theory, if the Navy took delivery of any B-24s built by Ford at Willow Run, they would have been called PB4[whatever the Ford suffix was].
I only tell the stories; I can't explain 'em.

Old 1811 said...

Consolidated, not North American.
I told you my head hurt.
Looking forward to more pictures. It looks like you had fun.