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Grumman TBM Avenger

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The TBM Avenger was essentially the same aircraft as the TBF Avenger but built by General Motors. In total just over 7,500 Grumman TBM Avenger aircraft would be built, with the United States Navy using the type into the 1960s.

Quick Facts
Grumman TBM Avenger side profile image
First flight
See TBF Avenger
Entered service
See TBF Avenger
Total built

Front view
TBM Avenger front view photo
Side view
Rear view
TBM Avenger rear view photo

With orders for the Grumman TBF Avenger outstripping Grumman's production capacity, the decision was taken for General Motors to produce the aircraft as well. These would be known as TBM Avengers.

The first Avenger variant that General Motors would build was the TBM-1. This had a top speed of 262 mph, range of 1,000 miles with a service ceiling of 26,400 ft. Armament was one 0.50-in machine-gun and two 0.30-in machine-guns and either a torpedo or 2,000lb bombs. The TBM-2 never went further than one example, this was a TBM-1 fitted with a 1,900-hp Wright XR-2600-10 engine.

Whilst Grumman had attempted to continue development of their TBF Avenger it would be General Motors who would do so as they produced the TBM-3 which was powered by a 1,900-hp Wright R-2600-20 engine. Whilst similar to Grumman's XTBF-3 prototype, it featured stronger wings to allow for more types of ordnance to be fitted and the dorsal turret was removed on many production versions. The TBM-3 Avenger had a top speed of 267 mph, range of 1,130 miles with a service ceiling of 23,400 ft. Armament was three 0.50-in machine-guns and one 0.30-in machine-gun. Bomb load was either one torpedo, 2,000lb bombs or depth charges. Eight 5-in rocket projectiles could also be carried.

General Motors would also work on the prototype for the XTBM-4, whose main improvement was a strengthened fuselage, however, orders for the new Avenger were cancelled after VJ-Day.

In total General Motors built 7,546 TBM Avengers, which was over 70% of the total produced.

Technical Details

Click on the aircraft image to view a larger version.

Top Speed Range Service Ceiling Armament
TBM-1 262 mph 1,000 miles 26,400 ft one 0.50-in machine-gun
two 0.30-in machine-guns
and either one torpedo or
2,000lb bombs
TBM-1C side profile image
TBM-2 Sole TBM-1 fitted with a 1,900-hp Wright XR-2600-10 engine.
TBM-3 267 mph 1,130 miles 23,400 ft three 0.50-in machine-guns
one 0.30-in machine-gun
and either one torpedo or
2,000lb bombs or depth charges or
eight 5-in rocket projectiles
XTBM-4 Prototype version.


Click on a photo to view a larger version.

See This Aircraft

(C) = Cockpit only exhibit. (F) = Fuselage only exhibit. (R) = Remains of an aircraft.

TBM-3E Fleet Air Arm Museum
TBM-3 Imperial War Museum, Duxford

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