Thach's F2A-1

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"APACHE" | AH-64A Peten
John Thach's F2A-1 Buffalo
General characteristics
1 personCrew
3.9 tTake-off weight
1.81 kg/sBurst mass
Flight characteristics
8 000 mCeiling
Wright Cyclone R-1820-34Engine
airCooling system
Speed of destruction
761 km/hStructural
720 km/hGear
Offensive armament
3 x 12.7 mm M2 Browning machine gunWeapon 1
1 050 roundsAmmunition
750 shots/minFire rate
7.62 mm Browning machine gunWeapon 2
450 roundsAmmunition
1 001 shots/minFire rate
400 Ge icon.pngPurchase
Sl icon.png650/990/360Repair
450 Sl icon.pngCrew training
3 000 Sl icon.pngExperts
40 Ge icon.pngAces
100 × 2 Talisman.png % Rp icon.pngReward for battle
110 × 2 Talisman.png % Sl icon.png50 × 2 Talisman.png % Sl icon.png20 × 2 Talisman.png % Sl icon.png
This page is about the the aircraft Thach's F2A-1. For other variants, see F2A (Family).


GarageImage Thachs F2A-1.jpg

The John Thach's F2A-1 Buffalo is a Rank I American naval fighter with a battle rating of 2.0 (AB) and 2.3 (RB/SB) It was introduced in Update 1.31. It costs 400 GE. The plane is painted after the camouflage scheme of American pilot John Thach in the U.S. Navy, who was famous for the "Thach Weave" maneuver.

The Brewster F2A Buffalo was the first carrier based monoplane of the US fleet, made to replace the outdated biplanes in service with the US Navy. It had a 950 horsepower engine and two machine guns on the nose of different caliber. Many Countries, including the Finnish Air Force which was highly successful with the buffalo, ordered the Buffalo. By the time WWII started and the attack of pearl harbor, the F2A was outclassed by the Japanese A6M2 and Ki-43s.

The F2A-1 is a competitive machine, if using the proper tactic versus the proper enemy. The "Buffalo", as it is sometimes referred to as, can outrun biplanes and can out-turn most monoplanes. Its only draw back is low ammo count and unreliable armament, however its performance easily makes up for the lack in armament. As said before this plane will get a pilot used to the American style of aircraft of Boom & Zoom along with the particulars of .50 caliber machine guns usage.

General info

Flight Performance

Max Speed
(km/h at 4,600 m)
Max altitude
Turn time
Rate of climb
Take-off run
479 468 8,000 19.1 19.4 7.4 7.4 250
Max Speed
(km/h at 4,600 m)
Max altitude (meters) Turn time (seconds) Rate of climb
Take-off run (meters)
530 504 8,000 18.0 18.2 18.7 10.9 250


Combat flap Take-off flap Landing flap Air brakes Arrestor gear
Wing-break speed
Gear limit
Combat flap
Max Static G
+ -
761 720 460 ~22 ~11
Optimal velocities
< 405 < 400 < 380 > 200
Compressor (RB/SB)
Setting 1
Optimal altitude 100% Engine power WEP Engine power
1,800 m 860 hp 963 hp
Setting 2
Optimal altitude 100% Engine power WEP Engine power
4,650 m 760 hp 851 hp

Survivability and armour

  • No armour plating
  • No armour glazing
  • Critical components located at front of aircraft (fuel, pilot, engine, controls)
  • More fuel tanks located in wings near fuselage


Offensive armament

Thach's F2A-1 is armed with:

  • 1 x 12.7 mm Browning M2 machine gun, nose-mounted (250 rpg)
  • 2 x 12.7 mm Browning M2 machine gun, wing-mounted (400 rpg = 800 total)
  • 1 x 7.62 mm Browning machine gun, nose-mounted (450 rpg)

Usage in the battles

The best way to fly this aircraft would be as a Boom & Zoom or energy fighter; it can outrun most aircraft it faces, unless it is uptiered and faces something like the Bf 109 F-1. In such a scenario the best way to destroy more advanced vehicles is through boom and zoom tactics.

In Arcade, there is no need to worry about ammo count as much as in Realistic Battles (RB) and Simulator (SB) since the planes can reload in the air. The target-lead indicator, which shows approximately where there enemy plane will when when the bullets reach the target, also eases with aiming. For arcade, the ammo belts are really useful, it is suggested to use Omni purpose ammo for the .50 calibre (12.7 mm) machine gun and stealth for the .30 cal (7.62 mm) machine gun, however another option is to try going all stealth so the F2A can surprise the enemy with bullets they can't see. There are a variety of enemy planes that the F2A-1 faces, ranging from biplanes to low rank monoplanes. In the common low rank arcade battle we get fur-balls going on at low altitude with planes trying to get on each other's tail, a perfect set up for a Boom & Zoomer like the Buffalo, first set the attack angle, which could be from directly above the enemy that is targeted, or from behind (it should be priority to target enemy planes that are chasing friendly planes or for a dangerous threat like, MiG-3s, LaGG-3s, Hurricane, Bf 109s or another Buffalo). Once the F2A is nearing towards the enemy plane, know what type of enemy they are, depending on what plane they are flying, is what determines what to do after an attack run. Lets say with a dive on an enemy, but the attack didn't destroy them on the first pass, if the enemy was a biplane, then keep up the speed and vacant the area, and set up another pass. If the enemy was a monoplane in the same situation, the F2A can choose to either clear the area, or turn onto their tail, but it is advisable to leave the area and look and see if the enemy noticed the attacking F2A, if he didn't and he is chasing a friendly or going for ground targets then latch on to his tail and shoot him down!

In Realistic Battles & Simulator Battles, most of the tactics against fighters would be the same as in arcade, only with a few restrictions.

  1. Do not dive too fast, or the F2A wont be able to pull up or the plane's wings will break.
  2. No Enemy-Lead indicator, pilot skill and intuition will have to guess where the enemy plane will be when the bullets reach the targets.
  3. Very limited ammo, on top of that the armament isn't reliable outside of 400 meters.

So how does one play this in RB with all these draw backs? A few very simple things will help with those problems, at the beginning of the match in RB, climb at about a 15 degree angle until about 3,000-4,000 m in altitude. When an enemy is spotted, if a biplane the F2A will have to take up a Boom & Zoom tactic, do not attempt to turn fight. If the enemy is a monoplane, turnfighting can be a valid tactic; unless they are the British Hurricane or Japanese A5M (not to confuse with A6M much superior to the Buffalo) or Ki-43, then do not turn fight these monoplanes. For the most part, Russian monoplanes are safe to turn fight (I-16s, late I-16s, MiG-3 and LaGG-3s). When diving on an enemy, put the throttle to 0% so the F2A does not accelerate too fast. If a shot can't be gained on the enemy, pull out by putting throttle at 100% and point the nose up to gain altitude. Once on the tail of an enemy, no matter the plane, open fire only at close ranges, firing at 300 meters or less would help conserve the ammo and there won't have to lead as much, therefore easier to aim and make each shot more effective.

This can apply to all three game-modes: When someone is on the F2A tail and bullets fly past the plane, with the right altitude, make a short steep dive. With that little dive, it can dodge enemies bullets and it gives an opportunity to take a look back at the offending enemy. If the aircraft is a biplane, continue the dive and get out of range of their guns. If it is a monoplane, attempt to turn fight, but the F2A is still effective in diving away from even faster monoplanes, which will be effective against maneuverable monoplanes like the Hurricane and A5M4. Learning the gun sounds also helps, sometimes the sound will help identify the enemy plane so as to make a move more instinctively.

Manual Engine Control

MEC elements
Mixer Pitch Radiator Supercharger Turbocharger
Oil Water Type
Controllable Controllable
No automatic pitch
Not controllable Controllable
No auto radiator
Separate Controllable
2 gears
Not controllable


Tier Flight performance Survivability Weaponry
I Fuselage Repair Radiator Offensive 7 mm
II Compressor Airframe New 7 mm MGs
III Wings Repair Engine Offensive 12 mm
IV Engine Injection Cover New 12 mm MGs
  • As a premium tank all upgrades are already unlocked. The "Mark of distinction" can be earned, allowing for usage of four decals without needing a premium account.

Pros and cons


  • Great dive speed
  • Great vertical and horizontal energy retention
  • Good armament for its rank
  • Good top speed
  • Good turning circle and speed not a turn-fighter though
  • Can land on a carriers
  • Powerful .50 caliber machine guns
  • Great acceleration (at take-off and on the deck up to ~250 mph)


  • Low ammo count (can be conserved by firing at close range)
  • The telescopic sight is a bit of an annoyance in Simulator battles, as these have to be used when zoomed in


The Brewster F2A-1 buffalo was designed to replace the Grumman F3F biplane fighter. In a competition between the Grumman XF4F1 and the XF2A-1(the P-35 lost early on), the XF2A-1 won as it was more advanced than the Grumman aircraft, so it went into production as F2A-1.

Although the F2A buffalo fought only a few battles with the US Military, it fought important ones. In the battle of Midway, it was one of the main fighter planes of the US fleet (the other being the F4F Wildcat), it played an important role(along with the other planes)in the battle of Midway, and showed that the F2A and F4F where no match to the A6M, and where soon replaced by more advanced F6F and F4U Corsair.

Many Nations acquired the F2A in there air forces, the most successful country with the type was Finland. From January to February 1940, the Finns received there F2A-1s (Designated B239), in total they received 44 Buffalos. During the Continuation War the Finnish Air Force was highly successful with the type, they developed tactics that the Russians couldn't counter. One tactic they used was baiting, where 2 Buffalos are low and act as bait, as 2 others dive on attacking enemy planes. In the Continuation War, Squadron 24 of Finland, some sources state, had a victory ratio of 26. Buffalos of 24 squadron claimed 477 confirmed kills to 15 Buffalos destroyed.


The Shooting Range #3 - Pages of History section at 04:06 discusses the F2A.

Read also

Links to the articles on the War Thunder Wiki that you think will be useful for the reader, for example,

  • reference to the series of the aircraft;
  • links to approximate analogues of other nations and research trees.


Paste links to sources and external resources, such as:

  • topic on the official game forum;
  • page on aircraft encyclopedia;
  • other literature.

Brewster Aeronautical Corporation
Fighters  F2A-1 · Thach's F2A-1 · F2A-3

USA fighters
P-26 Peashooter  P-26A-33 · P-26A-34 · P-26A-34 M2 · P-26B-35
P-36 Hawk  P-36A · Rasmussen's P-36A · P-36C · P-36G
P-39 Airacobra  P-400 · P-39N-0 · P-39Q-5
P-40  P-40C · P-40E-1 · P-40F-10
P-43 Lancer  P-43A-1
P-47 Thunderbolt  P-47D-25 · P-47D-28 · P-47M-1-RE · ⋠P-47M-1-RE · P-47N-15
P-51 Mustang  P-51 · P-51A (Thunder League) · P-51D-5 · P-51D-10 · P-51D-20-NA · P-51D-30 · P-51H-5-NA
P-63 Kingcobra  P-63A-5 · P-63A-10 · P-63C-5 · ␠Kingcobra
Prototypes  XP-55
F2A Buffalo  F2A-1 · Thach's F2A-1 · F2A-3
F3F  F3F-2 · Galer's F3F-2
F4F Wildcat  F4F-3 · F4F-4
F4U Corsair  F4U-1A · F4U-1A (USMC) · F4U-1D · F4U-1C · F4U-4 · F4U-4B · F4U-4B VMF-214
F6F Hellcat  F6F-5 · F6F-5N
F8F Bearcat  F8F-1 · F8F-1B
Other countries  ▃Ki-43-II · ▃Ki-61-Ib · ▃A6M2 · ▃Bf 109 F-4 · ▃Fw 190 A-8 · ▃Spitfire LF Mk IXc

USA premium aircraft
Fighters  F4U-4B VMF-214 · Thach's F2A-1 · Galer's F3F-2 · P-26A-34 · P-40C · P-43A-1
  P-47M-1-RE · ⋠P-47M-1-RE · P-51A · P-51D-10 · P-51D-20-NA · ␠Kingcobra · XP-55
  ▃A6M2 · ▃Ki-43-II · ▃Ki-61-Ib · ▃Bf 109 F-4 · ▃Fw 190 A-8 · ▃Spitfire LF Mk IXc
Twin-engine fighters  XP-38G · Bong's P-38J-15 · P-38K · P-61A-1 · XF5F · XP-50 · F7F-3
Jet fighters  P-59A · F-86F-35 · F-89B · F-89D
Attackers  A2D-1 · AU-1 · XA-38
Bombers  A-26C-45DT · B-10B · BTD-1 · PBM-3 "Mariner" · PV-2D