Lockheed 37 / PV-1 Ventura / PV-2 Harpoon
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Lockheed 37 / PV-1 Ventura / PV-2 Harpoon

The success of the Hudson in RAF service led Lockheed to propose a military version of the larger Lockheed 18 Lodestar and resulting British interest led to development of the Lockheed 37. During 1940 a total of 675 of these aircraft was contracted for the RAF, which named the type the Ventura, and the company lost little time initiating production in the Vega factory. By comparison with the Hudson, the Ventura had far more effective armament, a heavier bomb load and more powerful engines, and appeared to have considerable potential. First used operationally by the RAF on 3 November 1942, the type was soon found to be unsuited to daylight operations and was transferred to Coastal Command. Nevertheless, the Ventura was procured in large numbers under Lend-Lease, and was built for the US Army Air Force and US Navy, this last service designating it the PV-1 Ventura. Venturas served with all the Commonwealth nations, the Free French and with the Brazilian air force. A long-range version, the PV-2, had been ordered by the US Navy in June 1943 and, differing in several respects from the Ventura, was named the Harpoon; Ventura and Harpoon production totalled 3,028 in September 1945. Post-war surplus PV-2 aircraft were supplied to Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, Peru and Portugal.

Lockheed B-34

 MODELLockheed PV-1 Ventura
 ENGINE2 x Pratt & Whitney R-2800-31 radial piston engines, 1491kW
    Take-off weight14096 kg31077 lb
    Empty weight9161 kg20197 lb
    Wingspan19.96 m66 ft 6 in
    Length15.77 m52 ft 9 in
    Height3.63 m12 ft 11 in
    Wing area51.19 m2551.00 sq ft
    Max. speed518 km/h322 mph
    Ceiling8015 m26300 ft
    Range2189 km1360 miles

Lockheed 37 / PV-1 Ventura / PV-2 HarpoonA three-view drawing (540 x 762)

Buddie Jordan, 25.05.2016

Dave Patterson was too modest to tell about his saving a PV-2 in a Dublin Georgia thunderstorm when sudden rain deluge forced a go-around on instruments... a split flap condition almost rolled them inverted but Dave recognized what was happening and lowered flaps enuf to regain control.

Patrick Menichino, 18.01.2016

My dad "Ben Menichino" flew with VPB 198, 1944-45. He was a turret gunner. He was stationed at NAS Norfolk, Lake City, Beafort SC, and Moffit CA. He was discharged in 1945 with broken eardrums. I would like to know what other squadrons he was with? Pat

Gil Bliss, 06.06.2015

PV-2D was my first Navy ride. I retired with P-3's

Clark Wolf, 08.07.2014

My dad was a 17 year old, reconnaissance photographer / tail gunner, in a PV-2. He was in the South Pacific and joked that when they would bomb a Japanese submarine he sometimes ended up with a picture of a whale with a big headache. Not very PC now, but in those tough time I can see the grins and groans this would have brought.

Dave mills. Warren mills, 30.10.2011

My dad flew this plane in 1944 and says it is a 4000hp beast and would pass a corsair at 5000 ft

Klaatu, 10.07.2011

While the Boeing B-29s of the 20th AAF were attacking Japan from the Mariana islands, a little-publicized bombing campaign was also being carried against Japan by aircraft of this type, operating from bases in Alaska's Aleutian Islands.

Patrick Dorcy, 26.05.2011

Patrol Bomber out of Carribean as a aircraft commander VPB-141

bombardier, 22.05.2011

The Ventura was one of the best medium bombers of the war.It was fast and manouverable.It is considered a failure because the British used it in the wrong way,no aircraft can survive attacking targets deep into enemy territory unescorted. This stupid strategy also doomed several other excellent aircraft

Harry Gribbon, 28.03.2011

In the Navy in 1945, I flew in the PV-1 out of Lake City Florida as the mid-upper-deck turret gunner. From my view, I had an opportunity to watch the twin tail assembly twisting right and left; always somewhat disconcerting. My first flight was to practice evasive maneuvers. Our tail gunner found out the hard way you had to force your white hat with the barf through the small round deck port and not just drop it into the open port where it would bounce right back at you.

Darrell Meldrum, 15.03.2011

My favorite was the 500 it would come in to La Porte TX. for inspections when it was coming we would rebuild the jacks for retractions because it was so heavy the last time i got to change 4 jugs on the bottom of course wish i could do again good time in my life last bird i flew on as crew was C130A Flt. engineer another master piece

mike grieco, 06.03.2011

Like the gentleman before me, I also had the pleasure of flying these wonderful Howard conversions of the LB-34 and the Navy version PV-1 and PV-2. Most of my time was spent in the H-400 (N2ES) there were only 10 or 11 ever built, it was the prototype of the H-500. The main difference in the two aircraft was the H-400 had shorter or clipped wings than the H-500 which gave it a higher true airspeed. I flew this aircraft approx. 1200 hours and enjoyed every minute of it. It would hold a sea level cabin to 16,000' and I would flight plan it at 340mph@ 16,000'. Few people no about these aircraft and I feel priveledged to have spent some time with these airplanes. Thank you Mr. Hughes.

michael smith, 24.01.2011

great plane.used by the naval reserve in norfolk va. in the 50,S--PV2

Kenneth St John, 19.11.2010

There is an excellent account of the role of the PV-1 during the WW2 campaign in the Aleutians and the Japanese held Kuril Islands, written by Ralph Wetterhahn, and titled "The Last Flight of Bomber 31" (2004).

Bruce Fuhr, 25.10.2010

California-1943: My brother was drafted, Momma worked at VEGA (Lockheed)A/C on B-17s. I quit Canoga Park High, went to work at VEGA,B-17 Final Assem. Being only 16 years old, Max.Hrs was 44hrs/wk. But; I always worked overtime on PV-1s & then PV-2s. A tight airplaine to move around in. Got drafted, Infantry. Aboard Troop ship "Seafiddler in the Pacific, "PTO",On the way to Philippines, It ran aground by New Guinea, Jap Sub waters. From nowhere came a PV-1. Lower than the main deck. we looked down as it was flying by. The Pilot waived. You could read the time on his wristwatch. Gawd; were they close. Could've reached down and touched the wing. That PV-1 sounded and looked beautiful. Their P&Ws churned up the water behind them. We sure felt safe now. Two days prior we were almost torpedoed. (The P-2Vs had larger Stabilizers) Bruce Fuhr.... Not: "Der Fuhr"

alex, 12.10.2010

its perfect but the extra cockpit added a little more drag.

alex, 12.10.2010

its perfect but the extra cockpit added a little more drag.


Used to fly a PV-2 out of Dothan, AL to spray fire ants back in the late 60's. Dothan Aviation also had three B-17s and several Douglas B-25s. Have photos if interested. DP

JERRY THOMPSON, 31.01.2009

I had the distinct pleasure of flying Howard 350 N350K during 1964-65. I then went on to the major airlines and flew DC-8,DC-9,B-727,AIRBUS A-300, and Lockheed 10ll. to this day, my favorites to fly were the HOWARD 350, T-28,
B-727,& L-1011.

The 350 cruised at 312 mph at 12000ft, 57% power.

Joe Moore, 07.01.2009

I flew the Howard 350 conversion of the PV-1 /B-34 - M200JW Tail Number. lockheed. Some had the Horton/ Horton interiors. Large picture windows. Nothing Like the purr of the twin R-2800's and the four bladed Hamilton Stardard square tipped props. I think they were revamped Connie props. Also Flew the Howard 250 Tri-gear L-18 conversion N250W and the Learstar L-18. The Nose gear was supposedly from the WW11 B-26 airplane. It was steerable from the center console and had it's own disc brake that we later removed because of the heavy loads it imposed on the nose gear strut assy. when braking. We cruised Howard 350 at 305 MPH.

Joe Moore

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