Military Wiki
Role Observation floatplane
Manufacturer Naval Aircraft Factory
First flight May 1938
Primary user United States Navy
Number built 1

The Naval Aircraft Factory XOSN was an American biplane observation floatplane developed by the Naval Aircraft Factory for the United States Navy during the late 1930s.

Design and development[]

In 1936, the Navy asked all interested aircraft manufacturers to submit bids for a new observation-scout aircraft, capable of operating from either water or land, but primarily intended for service on battleships and cruisers for gunnery spotting.[1] Three companies – Stearman Aircraft, Vought and the Naval Aircraft Factory - submitted aircraft to meet the requirements. The Naval Aircraft Factory design, assigned the designation XOSN-1,[2] was a two-seat biplane of mixed metal and fabric construction, with the pilot and observer seated in tandem in a fully enclosed cockpit. Innovations included automatic leading-edge slats on the upper wing and an I-strut bracing system that eliminated the need for interplane bracing wires. Provisions were made for either float or wheeled landing gear of a conventional taildragger type.

Operational history[]

The XOSN-1 was delivered for official trials in May 1938 and evaluated along with the other entrants. After Vought's monoplane XOS2U-1 was selected for production, the XOSN-1 was assigned to the Naval Academy at Annapolis where it was used as a trainer until mid-1944.[2]


United States

Specifications (XOSN-1)[]

Data from [2]

General characteristics

  • Crew: 2 (pilot and observer)
  • Length: 34 ft (10 m)
  • Wingspan: 36 ft (11 m)
  • Height: 13 ft (4.0 m)
  • Wing area: 376 sq ft (34.9 m2)
  • Empty weight: 3,771 lb (1,710 kg)
  • Gross weight: 5,516 lb (2,502 kg)
  • Powerplant: 1 × Pratt & Whitney R-1340 radial engine, 550 hp (410 kW)


  • Maximum speed: 160 mph (257 km/h; 139 kn) at 6,000 feet (1,800 m)
  • Range: 925 mi (804 nmi; 1,489 km)
  • Service ceiling: 14,900 ft (4,542 m)


  • Guns: 1× fixed, forward firing .30 in machine gun; 1× flexibly mounted .30 in machine gun in the rear cockpit

See also[]


  1. Adcock, Al (1991). OS2U Kingfisher in action. Aircraft In Action. 119. Carrollton, TX: Squadron/Signal Publications. pp. 4. ISBN 0-89747-270-5. 
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Johnson, E.R. (2011). United States Naval Aviation 1919-1941. Aircraft, Airships and Ships Between the Wars. Jefferson, North Carolina, and London: McFarland & Company, Inc.. pp. 134. ISBN 978-0-7864-4550-9. 

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