by Tommy H. Thomason

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Grumman AF-2W Guardian Redux

In a 25 May 2015 post to a Special Hobby 1/48 AF Guardian thread on Britmodeler (HERE), "Homebee" noted that there appeared to be two different radomes for the AF-2W. To my chagrin, I must report that I hadn't notice the difference before I tripped over his unanswered post yesterday.

Here is an early AF-2W in Grumman flight test (it is configured with an ejection seat):

Here is a Navy Reserve AF-2W:

My post on the AF Guardian (HERE) failed to note that. I overlooked the obvious yet again.
The interface of the radome with the fuselage on the early version is smoothly faired between the bomb bay opening and the radome. The later interface (possibly an added sheet-metal fairing) is flat sided and appears to terminate abruptly. Unfortunately, I don't have a good picture of the aft end of the later radome.

I have no idea when or why the change occurred. It appears to have been a production change as evidenced by this picture of BuNo 124783 on the Grumman flight line.

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