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Thread: Northrop N-3PB Found

  1. #1
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    Jan 2000
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    Northrop N-3PB Found

    Latest news from Iceland......A Northrop N-3PB has been found in the sea about 1 km. of the runway end of runway 19 in Reykjavik. The aircraft was found when the Icelandic Coast Guard was doing some practice with a very high tec underwater surveilance eqipment loned from the U.S. Navy. The aircraft is at a depth of 11 meters, upside down, and looks very complete exept for missing floats and a damaged right wingtip.
    The Northrop was used as an anti-submarine aircraft during the war, and only one squadron was ever eqipped with it, no 330 squadron (Norwaigen)RAF Costal Command. That Squadron was based here in Iceland from early 1941 until early 1943. The government of Norway had already placed an order for 25 of these aircraft with Northrop before the war, but they were not delivered until after Germany had overrun Norway. A group of escaped pilots from the Norwaigen airforce formed no.330 squadron, and they were sent to Canda in the early summer of 1940 for converstion training. When the Squadron arrived in Iceland they had 21 aircraft on strength, the other four having been written off in training accidents. During the two years the squadron was based here it did not have a lot of sucess, no U-boat claimed as sunk, but several damaged. They did how ever have their share of accidents (from the toop of my head I can remember 11 write offs during the two years).
    Back to the aircraft they just found....No positive identity has been arrived at, but at the moment it looks like we have two candidates. Aircraft no 1 of 330 squadron which took of from Reykjavik (Sea plane base) at approx. 0400 in the morning of 24th of April 1942 in very bad weather, with heavy winds and snow showers. No trace of this aircraft was ever found, in spite of very extensive search. The theory now is that it crashed on take off unseen and unheard. To back up this identity is the fact that divers from the Icelandic Coast Guard that went down to the aircraft say there is a big 1 written on the fuselage. If this is the case, this is a very significant aircraft, as it is the prototype for the N-3PB, of which, like I said before, only 25 were ever produced. The downside of this identification is the fact that the floats are missing from the aircraft, and there is no record of floats showing up near Reykjavik airport around the time the aircraft crashed, or anytime since. Another weak point is the fact that the divers say that the crew escape hatch is open, but no bodies were ever found from aircraft no.1
    A more likely candidate is aircraft no.17 of 330 Squadron which crashed on landing 20th of october 1942. In that accident all the crew was saved, but the wreckage was not retreived, as was the usual practice. At that time no 330 was just about to convert onto Catalinas, and the effort to save the remains for use as spares for a fleet that was going to be axed anyway, was to much for them. A little later the floats were recovered. The big 1 on the fuselage that the divers found is probably the first part of 17

    There is only one N-3PB that suvives today. It is in the museeum at Gardemoen airport in Norway. That one is an old 330 squadron aircraft that crashed in Iceland (in Thjorsa) and was recovered in 1978 and sent to the Northrop factory for restoration before being placed on disply in Norway.

    Regards
    Galdri
    Those who can.....do,
    Those who can not.....teach (that's me!)

  2. #2
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    RE: Northrop N-3PB Found

    Well, let's hope somebody has an interest in it, so it can be preserved.

  3. #3
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    RE: Northrop N-3PB Found

    This is how the wreck looks, as seen by the surveillance camera of the Icelandic Coast Guard.

    Regards
    Galdri


    Attachments:


    Those who can.....do,
    Those who can not.....teach (that's me!)

  4. #4
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    RE: Northrop N-3PB Found

    Word has just come through, that both the Northrop factory and the museeum in Bodo Norway are interested in the aircraft. So it looks like it will be salvaged at some time in the future.

    Regards
    Galdri
    Those who can.....do,
    Those who can not.....teach (that's me!)

  5. #5
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    RE: Northrop N-3PB Found

    That's great1

  6. #6
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    RE: Northrop N-3PB Found

    For those of you that are wondering how a Northrop N3-PB looks like, here is a picture of the example in Gardemoen in Norway fresh out of restoration by the NOrthrop factory
    Attachments:

    Those who can.....do,
    Those who can not.....teach (that's me!)

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2017
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    1
    Hello from Norway!
    Is there some more news about this wreck and eventually saving of it? Does it at all exist any underwater pictures of the wreck? I would preciate that a laot. Writing about the squadron in Iceland during WW2
    Best regards
    Dag-Jostein Andresen
    djandres@online.no
    www.330skv.no

  8. #8
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    This has been 'found' for years. I have a sonar scan from Bodo from seven or eight years ago.

  9. #9
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    Houston, TX
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    Rare aircraft only 35ft below surface, why not recovered yet?

  10. #10
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    "This has been 'found' for years. I have a sonar scan from Bodo from seven or eight years ago."

    Note that the original post is from 2002.

  11. #11
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    Blenheim , New Zealand
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    Chad, thanks, didn't spot that.

  12. #12
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    Sep 2009
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    Wasn't there a newsnippet in Aeroplane many years ago? With a pic of the tailfin with Norwegian markings?
    Cheers
    Cees

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