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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