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GarageImage F2A-1.jpg

The F2A-1 Buffalo is a Rank I American naval fighter with a battle rating of 2.0 (AB/SB) and 2.3 (RB). It was in the game since the start of the Open Beta Test prior to Update 1.29.

The Brewster F2A Buffalo was the first carrier based monoplane of the US fleet, made to replace the outdated biplanes in service with the US navy.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 a total of four machine guns. The nose armament consists of two machine guns of different caliber, a 0.50 caliber (12.7 mm) and a 0.30 caliber (7.62 mm). Each wing is also equipped with a 0.50 caliber for two more machine guns. Many countries ordered the Buffalo, including the Finnish Air Force which was highly successful with the theirs against Russian fighters. But by the time WW2 started, and the attack on Pearl Harbor, the F2A was outclassed by the Japanese A6M2 and Ki-43s.

The F2A-1 is a competitive machine, if using the proper tactics versus the proper enemy. The Buffalo can outrun biplanes and can out-turn most monoplanes. This plane will get you used to the American style of playing using Boom & Zoom, and armaments of .50 caliber machine guns.

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 7,60 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

The 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

In Arcade Battle you don't have to worry about your ammo count as much as in Realistic Battles (RB) and Simulator (SB) since you can reload in the air. The target-lead indicator, which shows you approximately where there enemy plane will when when the bullets reach the target, also eases with aiming, and you are more sure of hitting you target. For arcade, I suggest you use universal purpose ammo for the .50 calibre (12.7 mm) machine gun and stealth for the .30 cal (7.62 mm) machine gun, and if you like, try going all stealth so you can surprise the enemy with bullets they can't see, at the cost of some accuracy if you're not use to it. There are a variety of enemy planes that the F2A-1 faces, ranging from biplanes to low tier monoplanes, I recommend that you try and learn the names and designations of possible enemy aircraft so you can identify them easier and use the proper tactics and maneuvers to combat them. In the common low tier 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 you must set your attack angle, which could be from directly above the enemy you choose to attack, or from behind (it should be your priority to target enemy planes that are chasing friendly planes or for a dangerous threat like, MiG-3s, LaGG3s, Hurricane, Bf 109s or another Buffalo). Once you are nearing the enemy plane, you should know what type of aircraft it is, so that depending on what plane it is, you can vary what you do after your attack run. Let's say you dived on an enemy, but you didn't kill him on the first pass, if the enemy was a biplane, then you keep your speed and vacate the area, and set up another pass. If the enemy was a monoplane, you can choose to either vacate the area, or turn onto his tail. I would advise you to leave the area and check if he noticed you, if he didn't and he is chasing a friendly or going for ground targets then latch onto his tail again and shoot him down!

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

  1. You cannot dive too fast because if you exceed its speed limit or pull up too hard you might break the wings.
  2. No target lead-indicator, you will have to estimate where the enemy plane will be when the bullets reach it, and lead accordingly.
  3. Lower ammo count than for example the British Hurricane and Spitfire, but those have .303's, not 0.50 cals. The guns are also more accurate within about 400 meters.

So how does one play this plane in RB? A few very simple things will help you with those problems, at the beginning of the match in RB, climb at about a 15 degree angle until you reach about 3000-4000 meters in altitude (Change your viewpoint with the Toggle View key (default V) until you see the gun cam view, which shows the angle of climb). When you spot an enemy, if it is a biplane you will have to boom and zoom him, do not attempt to turn fight, if it is a monoplane you could possibly turn fight him, for example if it is a British Hurricane or Japanese A5M. However, the A6M or Ki-43 are superior to the Buffalo in turn fighting, so do not turn fight with them. Most Russian monoplanes are safe to turn fight (I-16s, late I-16s, MiG-3 and LaGG-3s). When you dive on an enemy, put your throttle to 0%, so you don't go to fast, if you can't get a shot on the enemy, pull out by putting throttle at 100% and point your nose up to gain altitude. Once you are on the tail of an enemy, no matter the plane, you should only open fire at close ranges, firing at 300 meters and under would help you conserve your ammo and you won't have to lead as much therefore easier to aim and more likely to get hits.

This can apply to all three game-modes: When someone is on your tail and you see bullets flying past you, if you have the alt, make a short steep dive. With that little dive, you dodge the enemies bullets and it gives you time to look back really quick, if he is a biplane, you can continue the dive and get out of range of his guns, if he is a monoplane, you can attempt to turn fight, but the F2A is still effective in diving away from even faster monoplanes, so you can try that versus maneuverable monoplanes like the hurricane and A5M. Learning the gun sounds also helps, sometimes you will know automatically what plane is on your tail if you hear some gun sounds on your tail, which helps in a lot of situations.

Manual Engine Control

MEC elements
Mixer Pitch Radiator Supercharger Turbocharger
Oil Water Type
Controllable Not controllable Not controllable Not controllable Separate Not ontrollable Not controllable


Tier Flight performance Survivability Weaponry
I Fuselage Repair Radiator Offensive 7 mm
II Comrpessor Airframe New 7 mm MGs
III Wings Repair Engine Offensive 12 mm
IV Engine Injection Cover New 12 mm MGs

Pros and cons


  • Fairly fast
  • Maneuverable compared to most monoplanes it can face
  • Good diver
  • Good climber (ironic since it was considered overweight in real life)
  • Can land on a carriers
  • Powerful 50 caliber machine guns


  • No armorplating or armor for pilot
  • The telescopic sight is a bit of an annoyance in Simulator battles, as you are forced to look into it when you zoom


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 P35 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-to-1. Buffalo's of 24 squadron claimed 477 confirmed kills to 15 Buffalos destroyed.


An excellent addition to the article will be video guides, as well as screenshots from the game and photos.

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.

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-40E-1 TD · P-40F-10
P-43 Lancer  P-43A-1
P-47 Thunderbolt  P-47D-22 RE · 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-51C-10 · 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 · F2G-1
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