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BRAZILIAN AIR FORCE FAB * - BRAZILIAN AIR FORCE

31)VULTEE VENGEANCE A31/35


With Brazil's involvement in the Allied effort in World War II, the newly created Brazilian Air Force was equipped with a wide range of military aircraft provided under the Leand Lease Act, including 28 units. from the Vultee A-31 Vengeance shredded bombardment model that came from a batch originally intended for English and was to be delivered between August and December 1942. In addition, the FAB would receive 50 cells from the improved A-35 model during 1943 However, to avoid the heterogeneity present in the first batches of Vengeance aircraft produced at the Nashville facility in Tennessee, the Americans chose to delay delivery by a few months.


Following the schedule by U.S Army Air Corps, the aircraft would be flown by pilots of the 4th Ferry Group to Brazil. In this process an aircfraft was lost in a forced landing in the city of San Jose in Guatemala. The remaining 27 cells upon receipt were sent to Santa Cruz Air Base to be incorporated into the 2nd Group of the 1st Aviation Regiment. The implementation of the model was facilitated by good performance and manoeuvrability, with the aircraft and crews ready to carry out patrol missions and convoy escort off the coast of Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo. For the length of these missions, in addition to the organic self-defense weaponry, the A-31s were configured with a 325 lb Mod. 1 depth charge, accommodated in the bomb bay, and two 500/500 AN / M43 general purpose 100lb bombs. AN / M30 on wings.


Despite satisfying the requirements for patrol missions, the aircraft also suffered the same hardships that hit the other Vengeance operators also pursued the FAB A-31s, the main point being caused by the engine that equipped the aircraft. While the basic version of the Wright R-2600 engine was of proven efficiency and reliability, the GR-2600-A5B5 did not have these qualities. One anomaly was the excessive high oil consumption, attributable to deficiencies in engine piston ring adjustment. As a result, on longer flights there was a risk that the engine could stop due to lack of oil, another problem referred to the electric fuel pumps which periodically crashed, as aggravating these factors the Vultee logistics system for maintenance was very poor .

Combined, these effects and other material problems soon arose; and of the Vengeance in the 2nd Group, only 11 were in flight conditions, although there are few records on the operation of the model at FAB, different reports show that the GR-2600-A5B5 engine was a major cause of the low availability of the aircraft. On August 17, 1944 the 1st Bombardment Group (1stGBP) was established at Santa Cruz Air Base, as a consequence, the 2nd Group Vultee Vengeance as well as the 1st Group Vultee V-11-GB2 were absorbed. for that unit, which had four squadrons. The same decree also created the 2nd Bombardment Group (2GBP), based in São Paulo Air Base. The original plan foresaw that the second group would receive the Vultee A-35, the American plans for the delivery of 41 aircraft between July October 1943, the ratio of five units per month, followed by another ten in November and eleven in December, but these plans were thwarted by the same technical difficulties that previously plagued the A-31s, including a new rust contamination problem that hit entire production lots.


In mid-1944, the 4th Ferry Group was again convened to begin the transfer of the Vultee A-35B-VN destined to FAB, but seven units suffered accidents due to technical problems or failures during ferry flights, on December 1, 1944 another aircraft was lost in an accident during landing at Santa Cruz Air Force Base. An order issued by the USAAF found that all A-35Bs transported to Brazil simply stopped flying, staying wherever they were, and many cells went in dereliction at  Caravelas Airfield, Bahia. As for FAB A-31 and A-35, it was clear that it would be difficult to remedy their material deficiencies, and given the USAAF's restrictions on its A-35B endowment, it would be virtually impossible to keep a supply line open between that country and Brazil and thus ensure the availability of these aircraft.


As a result, the A-35B that had been distributed to the 2nd GBP, which was never activated and was declared extinct in December 1945, so the remaining were transferred to the 1st Patrol Bombing Group, which would be housed by the organization of the 5th Aviation Regiment ( 5ºRAv) located at Curitiba Air Base, but this process did not come to fruition because in the course of 1947 all the remaining A-31 - 19 cells were collected at the São Paulo Aeronautical Maintenance Park, where they were disassembled and their components in good condition. were used as a usable raw material before their structures were disposed of as scrap. In turn, the A-35Bs were reclassified as a ground instruction plane and were destined for the collection of the Technical Aviation School (ETAv), based in São Paulo. These were a solitary RA-35B-VN, which arrived in the third quarter of 1944 and which was handed over to the institution for instructional purposes.


Translated from https://veiculosearmamentosmilitares.blogspot.com/2018/01/vultee-vengeance.html


Powerplant: Wright Cyclone GR-2600-A5B-5 with 1.700 hp   


Empty weight 10.300 lbs, Max weight 16.400 lbs  


Cruise speed  of 230 mph, Max. speed 279 mph at 13.500 pés    


Service ceiling of 22.300 feet.  


Range  2.300 miles.  


Armament: 7 Browing .30, machine guns, being 3 in each wing and one rotating at the rear nacelle. It could carry a bombload of  2.000 lbs.



Vultee Vengeance seen at Recife circa 1943. Photo http://castropr.blogspot.com/



Brazilian Air Force A 35 Vengeance. They were mostly used on patrol missions off Rio De Janeiro. Photo https://s232.photobucket.com/user/rogerio77/media/Aviacao%20Militar/Alva/Vengeance/Vengeance8.jpg.html



A group of A 35 parked alongside the Zeppelin Hangar at Santa Cruz Airbase Rio de Janeiro. Photo https://s232.photobucket.com/user/rogerio77/media/Aviacao%20Militar/Alva/Vengeance/Vengeance3.jpg.html



Above one Vengeance seen after a crash landing at Galeao airbase. Photo https://s232.photobucket.com/user/rogerio77/media/Aviacao%20Militar/Alva/Vengeance/Vengeance1.jpg.html


 

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