Lockheed PV-2  Harpoon

The Lockheed Company's early success in WWII with their Hudson bomber (a derivative of their Model 14 Super Electra used by the Royal Air Force) led them to propose a specialized bomber and reconnaissance version of their Model 18 Lodestar. Lockheed designated the new prototype the Model 37, and after a brief trial period, the RAF ordered a total of 675 of them, calling the new aircraft the Ventura. They were larger, heavier, carried a larger bomb load, and had better armament than the Hudson, and entered RAF service on 3 November 1942. Very quickly, the Ventura's limitations as a daylight bomber became apparent, as a large number were lost to enemy fire. They were turned over to RAF Coastal Command for domestic defense duties, and more than half of the original order was cancelled.

These spare planes were acquired by the US Army Air Force, designated as B-34s and B-37s, and were assigned to maritime patrol duties. The US Navy also placed an order, and their first airplanes were designated PV-1 Ventura. In June 1943, the Navy ordered a long-range, slightly-redesigned version, and this version became the PV-2 Harpoon. At least 2,100 navalized Venturas and Harpoons were delivered before the end of the war, and the total number of deliveries to all customers exceeded 3,000. Venturas, especially, were delivered to a number of other nations, including Brazil, France, and all the Commonwealth nations.

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