The Brewster F2A Buffalo was an American monoplane fighter aircraft which saw service in early stages of World War II. It won a competition to replace the Grumman F3F monoplane, against the F4F Wildcat. However, the Buffalo was largely obsolete when the United States entered World War II, and it was far behind compared to aircraft as the A6M Zero, as it was overweight, unstable and lacked pilot armor and self-sealing tanks.
Several nations ordered the Buffalo to upgrade their air forces, including Finland, Belgium, Britain and the Netherlands. It saw action in various places of the world, like Finland, South East Asia and the Pacific.
The Buffalo was only used by the USMC once, in the Battle of Midway, when 20 Buffalos attacked a formation of various D3A Val and escorting A6M Zero. The marines shot down several japanese bombers before the Zeros reacted, and an intense dogfight developed. 13 out of 20 Buffaloes were downed. That ended the operational history of the Buffalo in both USN and USMC, and all of the airplanes were transfered to the US mainland as advanced trainers.
Description and Tips Edit
- Buffalo is a decent dogfighter against most pre-1943 fighters, with the exception of the Zero. It will outturn almost any plane in a high-G instantaneous turn, however it will bleed off excessive amounts of speed in sustained turns. Your best bet against enemy fighters is to stay fast and not get involved in prolonged turning engagements, especially at low altitudes.
- Buffalo’s armament is not particularly strong but it is adequate against most planes, with the possible exception of the IL-2. You will usually need at least a one-second burst at a vulnerable area to bring your target down. Just like with all machine-gun only planes, the best spot to aim for is the pilot.
- Brewster can stall rather easily if handled roughly, however when it is handled with care it can be a very tough opponent.
- Supercharger speeds need to be switched at around 3,000 meters.
- Best performance altitude is between 500 and 2,800 meters.
- Worst performance above 4,500 meters.
- Take-Off Speed: 140 km/h
- Landing Speed: 135 km/h
- Combat Engine Setting: No RPM gauge
- Best Cruise: No RPM gauge
- Economy Cruise: No RPM gauge
- Prop Pitch Control: Manual
- Mixture Control: Manual
- Boost: No
- Supercharger: Two-Speed
- Good maneuverability and handling;
- Spacious and well-organized cockpit;
- Good visibility.
- Obsolete compared to contemporary Axis planes;
- Inadequate speed and armament compared to late war planes.
The B-239 was the Finnish Buffalo's export number. The Finns were desperately in need for new aircraft for their air forces. Naval features were removed, such as the tail hook or the life raft, making it lighter, but still lacked pilot armor and self-sealing fuel tanks. The aircrafts were delivered just at the end of the Winter War between Finland and the USSR.
Despite being an overweight and somewhat obsolete, the Finns performed excellent air combat with the Buffalo in the Continuation War by the side of Germany. Finnish pilots managed to take down 459 Soviet aircraft, losing only 15 Buffalos in action. The outstanding victory ratio was 26:1. As a result, the Finnish Air Force's Buffaloes produced 36 flying aces.
Buffalo Mk.1 Edit
The Buffalo Mk.1 was the Buffalo used by British and Dutch forces, mainly in South East Asia. The Dutch were provided 144 Buffaloes just before the outbreak of the war. The Dutch Buffaloes were also used as dive bombers. They served in the defense of the Dutch East Indies against the Japanese, and they were later lent to the RAAF after the fall of the islands, and used them for the air defense of Perth, Australia.
The British used the Buffalo many times, but mostly at Malaya, when RAAF and RNZAF used it along with RAF and RN pilots. 150 aircraft were used by Commonwealth forces, from which 60 were shot down in combat, 40 on the ground and 20 on accidents. Average victory ratio for Commonwealth forces was 1.3:1, and produced 4 aces.
- Weapon 1: 2 x .50 BMG (12.7x99) M2 Browning machine guns.
- Weapon 2: 2 x .50 BMG (12.7x99) M2 Browning machine guns.
- Weapon 4: 2 x 100 lb. Bombs. (Buffalo Mk.1 Only)