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US Military Aircraft

US Military Aircraft US Military Aircraft Last revised: 20 May 2001 http://www.csd.uwo.ca/~pettypi/elevon/baugher_us/ (1
US Military Aircraft US Military Aircraft Last revised: 20 May 2001 http://www.csd.uwo.ca/~pettypi/elevon/baugher_us/ (1

US Military Aircraft

Last revised: 20 May 2001

US Military Aircraft

These files are conversions to HTML of the files created by Joe Baugher, describing US combat aircraft. The author of these texts is:

Joe Baugher Lucent Technologies Bell Labs Innovations 2000 N. Naperville Road Room 9B-230 P.O. Box 3033 Naperville, Illinois 60566-7033 USA Phone: (630) 713 4548 E-mail: jbaugher@worldnet.att.com

Joe now has his own web page. US military serials galore!!

See also the descriptions of the combat aircraft of other nations.

Attack aircraft

Here is an overview of the aircraft in the A-series.

A- series

"A-1"

Douglas XA-2

Curtiss A-3 Falcon

Curtiss XA-4

Curtiss XA-5

Curtiss XA-6

General Aviation (Fokker) XA-7

Curtiss A-8 Shrike

Lockheed-Detroit Y1A-9

Curtiss YA-10

US Military Aircraft

Bombers

Consolidated A-11 Curtiss A-12 Shrike Northrop YA-13 Curtiss XA-14 "Shrike II" Martin XA-15 Northrop XA-16 Northrop A-17 Curtiss Y1A-18 Vultee YA-19 Douglas A-20 Boston/Havoc Boeing-Stearman XA-21 Martin XA-22 Maryland Martin XA-23 Douglas A-24 Dauntless Curtiss A-25 Helldiver Douglas A-26 Invader North American A-27 Lockheed A-28 Hudson Lockheed A-29 Hudson Martin A-30 Baltimore Douglas A-33

Here is an overview of the aircraft in the B-series.

HB- series

is an overview of the aircraft in the B-series. HB- series Huff-Daland XHB-1 "Cyclops" Fokker-Atlantic XHB-2

Huff-Daland XHB-1 "Cyclops" Fokker-Atlantic XHB-2 Huff-Daland XHB-3

US Military Aircraft

LB- series

MB- series

US Military Aircraft LB- series MB- series NBL- series Huff-Daland LB-1 "Pegasus" Fokker-Atlantic XLB-2

NBL- series

Huff-Daland LB-1 "Pegasus" Fokker-Atlantic XLB-2 Huff-Daland/Keystone XLB-3 Martin XLB-4 Huff-Daland/Keystone LB-5 "Pirate" Keystone LB-6 "Panther" Keystone LB-7 "Panther" Keystone LB-8 Keystone LB-9 Keystone LB-10 Keystone LB-11 Keystone LB-12 Keystone LB-13 Keystone LB-14

Martin MB-1

Martin MB-2

Barling XNBL-1 Martin XNBL-2LB-12 Keystone LB-13 Keystone LB-14 Martin MB-1 Martin MB-2 NBS- series Martin NBS-1 L.W.F. XNBS-2 Elias

NBS- series

MB-1 Martin MB-2 Barling XNBL-1 Martin XNBL-2 NBS- series Martin NBS-1 L.W.F. XNBS-2 Elias XNBS-3

Martin NBS-1 L.W.F. XNBS-2 Elias XNBS-3

US Military Aircraft

US Military Aircraft B- series Curtiss XNBS-4 Huff-Daland/Keystone B-1 "Super Cyclops" Curtiss B-2 Condor Keystone

B- series

Curtiss XNBS-4

Huff-Daland/Keystone B-1 "Super Cyclops" Curtiss B-2 Condor Keystone B-3 Keystone B-4 Keystone B-5 Keystone B-6 Douglas B-7 Fokker B-8 Boeing B-9 Martin B-10 Douglas YB-11 Martin B-12 Martin B-13 Martin XB-14 Boeing XB-15 Martin B-16 Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress Douglas B-18 Bolo Douglas XB-19 Boeing Y1B-20 North American XB-21 Douglas XB-22 Douglas B-23 Dragon Consolidated B-24 Liberator North American B-25 Mitchell Martin B-26 Marauder Martin XB-27

US Military Aircraft

North American XB-28 Dragon Boeing B-29 Superfortress Lockheed XB-30 Douglas XB-31 Consolidated B-32 Dominator Martin XB-33 Lockheed B-34 Ventura Northrop B-35 Convair B-36 Peacemaker Lockheed B-37 Vega XB-38 Boeing XB-39 Boeing YB-40 Consolidated XB-41 Douglas XB-42 Mixmaster Douglas XB-43 Boeing XB-44 North American B-45 Tornado Convair XB-46 Boeing B-47 Stratojet Martin XB-48 Northrop YB-49 Boeing B-50 Superfortress Martin XB-51 Boeing B-52 Stratofortress Convair XB-53 Boeing XB-54 Boeing XB-55 Boeing YB-56 Martin B-57 Canberra

US Military Aircraft

US Military Aircraft Convair B-58 Hustler Boeing B-59 Convair YB-60 Douglas B-66 Destroyer Cargo Aircraft Here

Convair B-58 Hustler Boeing B-59 Convair YB-60 Douglas B-66 Destroyer

Cargo Aircraft

Here is an overview of the aircraft in the C- series.

The original C- series

of the aircraft in the C- series. The original C- series Douglas UC-67 Consolidated C-87 Liberator

Douglas UC-67 Consolidated C-87 Liberator Express Douglas XC-105 Boeing C-108 Consolidated C-109

Fighters

Here is an overview of the aircraft in the P- and F- series.

The original P- and F- series

Curtiss P-1 Hawk Curtiss P-2 Hawk Curtiss P-3 Hawk Boeing XP-4 Curtiss P-5 "Superhawk" Curtiss P-6 Hawk Boeing XP-7 Boeing XP-8 Boeing XP-9

US Military Aircraft

Curtiss XP-10 Curtiss XP-11 Hawk Boeing P-12 Thomas-Morse XP-13 Viper Curtiss XP-14 Boeing XP-15 Berliner-Joyce P-16 Curtiss XP-17 Curtiss XP-18 Curtiss XP-19 Curtiss YP-20 Curtiss XP-21 Curtiss XP-22 Curtiss XP-23 Lockheed-Detroit YP-24 Consolidated Y1P-25 Boeing P-26 Consolidated YP-27 Consolidated YP-28 Boeing YP-29 Consolidated P-30 Curtiss XP-31 Swift Boeing XP-32 Consolidated XP-33 Wedell-Williams XP-34 Seversky P-35 Curtiss P-36 Hawk Curtiss YP-37 Lockheed P-38 Lightning Bell P-39 Airacobra

US Military Aircraft

Curtiss P-40 Seversky/Republic XP-41 Curtiss XP-42 Republic P-43 Lancer Republic P-44 Rocket Bell P-45 Airacobra Curtiss P-46 Republic P-47 Thunderbolt Douglas XP-48 Lockheed XP-49 Grumman XP-50 North American P-51 Mustang Bell XP-52 Curtiss XP-53 Vultee XP-54 Curtiss XP-55 Ascender Northrop XP-56 "Black Bullet" Tucker XP-57 Lockheed XP-58 Bell P-59 Airacomet Curtiss P-60 Northrop P-61 Black Widow Curtiss XP-62 Bell P-63 Kingcobra North American P-64 Grumman XP-65 Vultee P-66 Vanguard McDonnell XP-67 Bat Vultee XP-68 Tornado Republic XP-69

US Military Aircraft

North American P-70 Havoc Curtiss XP-71 Republic P-72 Hughes "P-73"

"P-74"

Fisher P-75 Eagle Bell XP-76 Bell XP-77 North American XP-78 Mustang Northrop XP-79 Lockheed P-80 Shooting Star Convair XP-81 North American P-82 Twin Mustang Bell XP-83 Republic P-84 McDonnell XF-85 Goblin North American P-86 Sabre Curtiss XF-87 Blackhawk McDonnell XF-88 Voodoo Northrop F-89 Scorpion Lockheed XF-90 Republic XF-91 Thunderceptor Convair XF-92A North American YF-93A Lockheed F-94 Starfire North American YF-95A Republic XF-96A Lockheed XF-97 Hughes XF-98 Falcon Boeing-MARC F-99 Bomarc

US Military Aircraft

North American F-100 Super Sabre McDonnell F-101 Voodoo Convair F-102 Delta Dagger Republic XF-103 Lockheed F-104 Starfighter Republic F-105 Thunderchief Convair F-106 Delta Dart North American F-107 North American F-108 Rapier

F-109

McDonnell F-110 Spectre General Dynamics F-111 Lockheed F-117A

The new F- series

North American F-1 Fury McDonnell F-2 Banshee McDonnell F-3 Demon McDonnell F-4 Phantom II Northrop F-5 Freedom Fighter/Tiger II Douglas F-6 Skyray Convair F-7 SeaDart Chance-Vought F-8 Crusader Grumman F9F Panther and Cougar Douglas F-10 Skyknight Grumman F-11 Tiger Lockheed YF-12

F-13

Grumman F-14 Tomcat McDonnell Douglas F-15 Eagle

US Military Aircraft

US Military Aircraft General Dynamics/Lockheed Martin F-16 Northrop YF-17 McDonnell Douglas/Boeing F/A-18 Hornet

General Dynamics/Lockheed Martin F-16 Northrop YF-17 McDonnell Douglas/Boeing F/A-18 Hornet

"F-19"

Northrop F-20 Tigershark Israel Aircraft Industries F-21A Lion Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptor Northrop/McDonnell Douglas YF-23A

US Navy Fighters

Here is an overview of US Navy fighters.

US Navy Fighters Here is an overview of US Navy fighters. Brewster F2A Buffalo Curtiss F9C

Brewster F2A Buffalo Curtiss F9C Sparrowhawk

Maintained by Carl Pettypiece

Curtiss F9C Sparrowhawk Maintained by Carl Pettypiece http://www.csd.uwo.ca/~pettypi/elevon/baugher_us/ (12 of

Aircraft of the World

Aircraft of the World Aircraft of the World Last revised: 9 March 2001 These files are

Aircraft of the World

Last revised: 9 March 2001

These files are conversions to HTML of the files describing combat aircraft of various nations. The author of most of these texts is Joe Baugher, the remainder is provided by Emmanuel Gustin, Ruud Deurenberg, Steven Jacobs, Jason Hodgkiss and Maury Markowitz.

See also the descriptions of US combat aircraft.

Britain

. See also the descriptions of US combat aircraft . Britain Canada B.A.C. TSR.2 de Havilland

Canada

B.A.C. TSR.2

de Havilland D.H.89 Dragon Rapide

Martin-Baker M.B.5

Hawker Fury

Hawker Hurricane in Iranian Service

Westland Wyvern

Aircraft of the World

Avro CF-105 ArrowAircraft of the World Egypt Helwan HA-300 France Dewoitine D.520 Germany Israel Blohm & Voss Bv

Egypt

Helwan HA-300Aircraft of the World Avro CF-105 Arrow Egypt France Dewoitine D.520 Germany Israel Blohm & Voss

France

Dewoitine D.520of the World Avro CF-105 Arrow Egypt Helwan HA-300 France Germany Israel Blohm & Voss Bv

Germany

Israel

Blohm & Voss Bv 155 Fieseler Fi 103 Reichenberg Focke-Wulf Fw 190 Focke-Wulf Fw 190D

Focke-Wulf Ta 152 Gotha Go 229 / Horten Ho IX German Carrier-Based Aircraft Heinkel He 100 Heinkel He 112

Heinkel He 162

Junkers Ju 287 Junkers Ju 86P Junkers Ju 87 Stuka Messerschmitt Me 210 Messerschmitt Me 609

An alternative article

Israel Aircraft Industries LaviMe 210 Messerschmitt Me 609 An alternative article http://www.csd.uwo.ca/~pettypi/elevon/baugher_other/ (2 of

Aircraft of the World

Japan

Allied Code Names

Poland

Mitsubishi A6M Zero Fighter Mitsubishi A7M Reppu Nakajima G5N Shinzan Nakajima J1N1-S Gekko Mitsubishi J2M Raiden Mitsubishi J8M1 Shusui Kawasaki Ki-61 Hien Nakajima Ki-84 Hayate Kawasaki Ki-100 Nakajima Ki-43 Hayabusa Nakajima Ki-44 Shoki Nakajima Kikka Kawanishi N1K Shiden

PZL P-7/11/24 seriesNakajima Ki-44 Shoki Nakajima Kikka Kawanishi N1K Shiden Romania I.A.R. 80 United States Boeing Skyfox Fairchild

Romania

I.A.R. 80Kikka Kawanishi N1K Shiden PZL P-7/11/24 series Romania United States Boeing Skyfox Fairchild Republic T-46A Fokker

United States

Shiden PZL P-7/11/24 series Romania I.A.R. 80 United States Boeing Skyfox Fairchild Republic T-46A Fokker F.27

Boeing Skyfox Fairchild Republic T-46A Fokker F.27 Friendship in US Service Galaxy Aerospace C-38A Astra

Aircraft of the World

Aircraft of the World Grumman A-6 Intruder Grumman F4F Wildcat Lockheed C-5 Galaxy Vought F4U Corsair

Grumman A-6 Intruder Grumman F4F Wildcat Lockheed C-5 Galaxy Vought F4U Corsair Wright F3W-1 Apache The Atomic Powered Aircraft Program

Maintained by Carl Pettypiece

Powered Aircraft Program Maintained by Carl Pettypiece http://www.csd.uwo.ca/~pettypi/elevon/baugher_other/ (4 of

A-1

A-1

Last revised July 1, 2000

There was no A-1 entry in the attack series--the very first entry was deliberately skipped, lest there be confusion with the Cox-Klemm A-1, an ambulance aircraft.

Sources:

1. United States Military Aircraft Since 1909, Gordon Swanborough and Peter M. Bowers, Smithsonian, 1989.

1909, Gordon Swanborough and Peter M. Bowers, Smithsonian, 1989. http://home.att.net/~jbaugher4/a1.html07-09-2006 20:44:35

Douglas XA-2

Douglas XA-2

Last revised July 3, 2000

In fiscal year 1923, the War Department awarded a contract to the Douglas Company of Santa Monica, California for the manufacture of two experimental observation planes under the designation XO-2. The first (23-1251) was to be powered by a 420 hp Liberty V- 1650-1 water-cooled engine, whereas the second (23-1254) was to be powered by a 510 hp Packard 1A-1500 liquid-cooled engine. These two machines were to participate against contestants from other manufactures in a competition held at McCook Field for a successor to the aging DH-4Bs and DH-4Ms still serving with the Army Air Service.

Since the Army still had a large number of surplus Liberty engines left over from the First World War, the War Department ordered that the competitors in the observation plane contest fit their first entries with this engine. The trials were to begin in November of 1924. At the same time, the Army was fully aware that the supply of surplus Liberty engines would not last forever, and it scheduled a parallel competition for observation planes powered by the new 510 hp Packard 1A-1500 liquid-cooled engine. The second XO-2 was entered in this contest.

During the trials at McCook Field, two different sets of wings were tried out on the Liberty-powered XO-2--one with a span of 36 feet 3 inches and area of 370 square feet, the other with a span of 39 feet 8 inches, with an area of 411 square feet. The longer-span wings were found to provide better handling characteristics, lower landing speed, and higher ceiling, so they were adopted as standard. The Douglas XO-2 was judged superior to all other entrants in the Liberty-powered observation plane contest, and on February 25, 1925, a contract was issued for 75 aircraft. The Packard-powered XO-2 was less fortunate, and lost out to the Curtiss XO-1 in the parallel new-engine contest that was held in 1925.

The first 45 aircraft on the contract were delivered as O-2 (serials 25-335/379). They were powered by a 435 hp Liberty V-1650-1 engine. The O-2s were generally similar to the Liberty-powered XO-2 with long-span wings, but had a simplified engine installation with a large tunnel-type radiator mounted farther back underneath the propeller shaft.

Douglas XA-2

The O-2 was a two-seat, open-cockpit biplane with a single bay of interplane struts. It was

of

fairly conventional construction, with a welded steel tube fuselage and wooden wings.

A

30-US gallon fuel tank was located in the center section of each lower wing and could

be

jettisoned in an emergency. The undercarriage consisted of two oleo legs and two Vs

hinged at the centerline of the underside of the fuselage. The standard armament consisted

of one fuselage-mounted forward-firing 0.30-inch machine gun and one flexible 0.30-inch

machine gun operated by the rear observer. Four wing racks were provided, which could carry bombs of up to 100 pounds in weight. An extra 0.30-inch machine gun could be installed over each lower wing. The rear cockpit could also be provided with photographic equipment.

The O-2 went on to become the precursor of a series of Douglas-built observation planes which became one of the most important types of American military aircraft during the 1920s and early 1930s. A few of the last related model, the O-38E and F, were still in service at the time of Pearl Harbor.

At the time of the awarding of the initial O-2 contract in February of 1925, the War Department had instructed Douglas to complete the last of the 46 O-2s (25-380) as a prototype for an attack aircraft. The aircraft was redesignated XA-2. It was powered by a 420 hp Liberty V-1410 twelve-cylinder inverted-vee air-cooled engine, which dispensed with the vulnerable cooling radiator underneath the nose. Its armament was quite heavy for the time--consisting of six forward-firing 0-30-inch machine guns, two in the upper engine cowling, two in the upper wings, and two in the lower wings. A pair of flexible 0.30-inch machine guns were mounted in the rear cockpit.

The XA-2 was completed in 1926, and was tested against the Curtiss XA-3. The competition was won by the Curtiss design, and no further A-2s were built.

Specification of Douglas XA-2:

Engine: One 420 hp Liberty V-1410 twelve-cylinder inverted-vee air-cooled engine. Performance: Maximum speed 128 mph. Initial climb rate 800 feet per minute. Dimensions: Wingspan 39 feet 8 inches, length 29 feet 7 inches. Height 11 feet 0 inches, wing area 414 square feet. Weights: 3179 pounds empty, 4745 pounds gross Armament:

Six forward-firing 0-30-inch machine guns, two in the upper engine cowling, two in the upper wings, and two the lower wings. A pair of flexible 0.30-inch machine guns were mounted in the rear cockpit.

Douglas XA-2

Sources:

1. American Combat Planes, Third Enlarged Edition, Ray Wagner, Doubleday, 1982.

2. United States Military Aircraft Since 1909, Gordon Swanborough and Peter M. Bowers, Smithsonian, 1989.

3. McDonnell Douglas Aircraft Since 1920, Volume 1, Rene J. Francillon, Naval Institute Press, 1988.

Volume 1, Rene J. Francillon, Naval Institute Press, 1988. http://home.att.net/~jbaugher4/a2.html (3 of 3)07-09-2006

Curtiss A-3

Curtiss A-3

Last revised July 3, 2000

The Curtiss A-3 was an attack version of the O-1 Falcon two-seat observation aircraft of the US Army Air Service.

In 1924, the Army scheduled a competition for a successor to the aging DH-4Bs and DH- 4Ms still serving with the Army Air Service. Since the Army still had a large number of surplus Liberty engines left over from the First World War, the War Department ordered that the competitors in the observation plane contest fit their first entries with this engine. The trials were to begin in November of 1924.

The Curtiss entry was the XO-1. The Curtiss XO-1 (serial number 23-1252) was powered by a 420 hp Liberty V-1650-1 water-cooled engine. The XO-1 was a fairly conventional two-seat biplane with a single bay on N-type interplane struts. The aircraft did have some unique fuselage construction techniques for its time--aluminum tubing bolted and riveted together with steel tie-rod bracing. The wings were wooden-framed with a wire trailing edge and the new Clark-Y aerofoil. The center section of the upper wing was placed well forward for good pilot access and visibility, so the upper wing panels had to be swept back nine degrees to achieve balance.

The Curtiss design took second place to the Douglas XO-2 in the 1924 observation plane contest. However, the Army was fully aware that the supply of surplus Liberty engines would not last forever, and in any case it was obvious that the Liberty was no longer suitable as a powerplant for future first-line military aircraft. Consequently, in 1925 another contest was held for observation types to be powered by the Packard 1A-1500, a more advanced V-12 liquid-cooled engine that was rated at 510 hp.

The conversion of the XO-1 to the Packard 1A-1500 was fairly straightforward. This time, the Curtiss design won the contest, and an order for ten production aircraft was issued under the designation O-1.

Unfortunately, the Packard engine did not live up to expectations, so the ten production O-

Curtiss A-3

1s (serial number 25-325/334) differed from the prototype in having the Packard engine replaced by the 435 hp Curtiss D-12 (V-1150) liquid-cooled engine. The D-12 was less powerful than the Packard engine, so the performance was poorer. In addition, the vertical tail surfaces were revised to increase the fin area and decrease the rudder area. The armament consisted of a single forward-firing 0.30-inch Browning machine gun in the engine cowling, and a pair of Lewis machine guns on a Scarff ring around the rear cockpit.

The O-1B was the first major production variant. Improvements included wheel brakes, a droppable 56-gallon belly tank, and provisions for dumping the fuel in the 113-gallon main fuel tank. 45 were ordered in 1927. Serial numbers were 27-243/287.

The A-3 (Model 44) was an attack version of the O-1B. The changes were fairly minor, and consisted of adding bomb racks underneath the lower wings and installing a single 0.30-inch machine gun in each lower wing outboard of the propeller arc. The A-3 was otherwise identical to the O-1B. The engine was the D-12D (V-1150-3) rated at 435 hp. A total of 66 A-3s were ordered on three contracts. Serials were 27-243/262, 27-298/317, and 28-83/108. The first A-3 was ready by October 31, 1927.

Six A-3s (27-306,310, 315, 28-116/118) were redesignated A-3A when fitted with dual controls for the training of observers.

The A-3B (Model 37H) which appeared in 1929 was an attack version of the later O-1E. The O-1E was an improved O-1B with the V-1150-5 engine. Refinements included refined engine cowling lines, balanced (Frise) ailerons, horn-balanced elevators, oleo- pneumatic shock absorbers, E-4 gun synchronizer system, and a 36-gallon belly tank. 78 attack equivalents of the O-1E were ordered under the designation A-3B (Model 37H) in two separate contracts. Serials were 30-1/28 and 30-231/280. The first A-3B was tested in April of 1930. A-3B 30-1 was converted to O-1E configuration.

Attack Falcons equipped all four of the Air Corps ground attack squadrons, the 8th, 13th, and 19th Squadrons of the 3rd Attack Group at Fort Crockett, Texas and the 26th Attack Squadron based in Hawaii. The last A-3B in service was 30-13, which was scrapped in October of 1937.

Specification of Curtiss A-3B:

Engine: One 435 hp Curtiss V-1150-5 twelve-cylinder liquid-cooled engine Performance:

Curtiss A-3

Maximum speed 139 mph at sea level, 136 mph at 5000 feet. Cruising speed 110 mph. Landing speed 60 mph. Initial climb rate 948 feet per minute. An altitude of 500 feet could be attained in 6.25 minutes. Service ceiling 14,100 feet. Absolute ceiling 16,100 feet. Range 628 miles. Dimensions: Wingspan 38 feet 0 inches, length 27 feet 2 inches. Height 10 feet 6 inches, wing area 353 square feet. Weights: 2875 pounds empty, 4458 pounds gross, 4476 pounds maximum. Armament: Four forward-firing 0-30-inch machine guns, two in the upper engine cowling and two the lower wings. A pair of flexible 0.30-inch machine guns were mounted in the rear cockpit. Up to 200 pounds of fragmentation bombs could be carried on underwing racks. Alternatively, a 56-gallon auxiliary fuel tank could be carried behind the tunnel radiator.

Sources:

1. American Combat Planes, Third Enlarged Edition, Ray Wagner, Doubleday, 1982.

2. United States Military Aircraft Since 1909, Gordon Swanborough and Peter M. Bowers, Smithsonian, 1989.

3. Curtiss Aircraft, 1907-1947, Peter M. Bowers, Naval Institute Press, 1979.

1907-1947, Peter M. Bowers, Naval Institute Press, 1979. http://home.att.net/~jbaugher4/a3.html (3 of 3)07-09-2006

Curtiss XA-4

Curtiss XA-4

Last revised July 3, 2000

The Curtiss XA-4 was produced by fitting a 440 hp Pratt & Whitney R-1340-1 Wasp air

cooled radial engine into A-3 airframe serial number 27-244. The XA-4 was delivered in December of 1927. The radial Wasp engine decreased the gross weight to 4113 pounds, but the improvement in performance was only marginal, and the radial-engined Falcon was not introduced onto the production line. The single XA-4 was scrapped in March of

1932 after having logged 327 hours in the air.

Specification of Curtiss XA-4:

Engine: One 440 hp Pratt & Whitney R-1340-1 air-cooled radial engine. Performance:

Maximum speed 137.5 mph at sea level, Service ceiling 16,950 feet. Dimensions:

Wingspan 38 feet 0 inches, height 10 feet 6 inches, wing area 353 square feet. Weights:

4113 pounds gross, Armament: Four forward-firing 0-30-inch machine guns, two in the

upper engine cowling and two the lower wings. A pair of flexible 0.30-inch machine guns were mounted in the rear cockpit. Up to 200 pounds of fragmentation bombs could be carried on underwing racks. Alternatively, a 56-gallon auxiliary fuel tank could be carried behind the tunnel radiator.

Sources:

1. American Combat Planes, Third Enlarged Edition, Ray Wagner, Doubleday, 1982.

2. United States Military Aircraft Since 1909, Gordon Swanborough and Peter M. Bowers, Smithsonian, 1989.

3. Curtiss Aircraft, 1907-1947, Peter M. Bowers, Naval Institute Press, 1979.

1907-1947, Peter M. Bowers, Naval Institute Press, 1979. http://home.att.net/~jbaugher4/a4.html07-09-2006 20:45:05

Curtiss XA-5

Curtiss XA-5

Last revised July 1, 2000

The Curtiss XO-16 was a conversion of O-11 28-196 when completed with a 600 hp Curtiss V-1570 Conqueror liquid cooled V-12 engine in place of the 435hp Liberty V- 1650. The XA-5 was the designation assigned to a proposed attack version of the XO-16. However, the XA-5 was cancelled before anything could be built.

Sources:

1. US Army Aircraft, 1908-1946, James C. Fahey, Ships and Aircraft, 1946.

2. United States Military Aircraft Since 1909, Gordon Swanborough and Peter M. Bowers, Smithsonian, 1989.

1909, Gordon Swanborough and Peter M. Bowers, Smithsonian, 1989. http://home.att.net/~jbaugher4/a5.html07-09-2006 20:45:13

Curtiss XA-6

Curtiss XA-6

Last revised July 3, 2000

Curtiss O-1B serial number 27-263 was redesignated XO-18 when used as a flying testbed for the experimental 600 hp Curtiss H-1640 Chieftain twelve-cylinder twin-row air-cooled radial engine. The Chieftain engine proved to be unsuitable and the XO-18 was refitted with the standard Curtiss V-1150-5 engine and reverted to O-1B configuration. The XA-6 was a proposed attack version of the XO-18. However, the XA-6 was cancelled before anything could be built.

Sources:

1. American Combat Planes, Third Enlarged Edition, Ray Wagner, Doubleday, 1982.

2. United States Military Aircraft Since 1909, Gordon Swanborough and Peter M. Bowers, Smithsonian, 1989.

3. Curtiss Aircraft, 1907-1947, Peter M. Bowers, Naval Institute Press, 1979.

4. US Army Aircraft, 1908-1946, James C. Fahey, Ships and Aircraft, 1946.

Aircraft, 1908-1946, James C. Fahey, Ships and Aircraft, 1946. http://home.att.net/~jbaugher4/a6.html07-09-2006 20:45:22

General Aviation (Fokker) XA-7

General Aviation (Fokker) XA-7

Last revised July 1, 2000

In 1930, the US Army sponsored a contest for a new generation of attack planes which were intended to replace the Douglas A-2 and Curtiss A-3 biplanes then equipping the three squadrons of the 3rd Attack Group, the Army's only group dedicated solely to the attack mission.

The General Aviation company of New Jersey, which was the US subsidiary of the Dutch- based Fokker aircraft company, submitted a two-seat, low-winged all metal monoplane as its entry in the contest. A single prototype of the General Aviation design was ordered by the US Army on January 8, 1930 under the designation XA-7.

The General Aviation (Fokker) XA-7 was a two-seat low-winged all-metal monoplane powered by a 600 hp Curtiss XV-1570-27 Conqueror V-12 liquid cooled engine. It had a thick cantilever wing with a fixed landing gear with its main wheels covered over by a set of large wheel pants, open tandem cockpits, and a tunnel radiator underneath the nose for engine cooling. The XA-7 was armed with four 0.30-inch forward-firing machine guns and one 0.30-inch gun operated by the gunner/observer sitting in the rear cockpit.

The XA-7 was completed in April of 1931. It had its nose and landing gear modified before tests at Wright Field in June of 1931. It began flight testing in September of that year. The competing Curtiss XA-8 design won the Army attack plane contest in 1931 and no further A-7s were built.

Specification of Fokker XA-7:

Engine: One 600 hp Curtiss V-1570-27 Conqueror V-12 liquid-cooled engine. Performance: Maximum speed 184 mph. Langing speed 61 mph. Weights: 3866 pounds empty, 5650 pounds gross. Dimensions: Wingspan 46 feet 9 inches, length 31 feet, height 9 feet 5 inches, wing area 333 square feet. Armament: Four 0.30-inch forward-firing machine guns and one 0.30-inch gun operated by the rear gunner.

General Aviation (Fokker) XA-7

Sources:

1. American Combat Planes, Third Enlarged Edition, Ray Wagner, Doubleday, 1982.

2. United States Military Aircraft Since 1909, Gordon Swanborough and Peter M. Bowers, Smithsonian, 1989.

Gordon Swanborough and Peter M. Bowers, Smithsonian, 1989. http://home.att.net/~jbaugher4/a7.html (2 of 2)07-09-2006

Curtiss A-8

Curtiss A-8

Last revised July 1, 2000

Throughout the 1920s, the United States Army had operated just one combat group (typically with three squadrons) which was assigned the mission of attack. This was the 3rd Attack Group, which had initially operated DeHavilland DH-4s and later transitioned to Curtiss A-3 Falcon biplanes. By 1930, however, the era of the military biplane was clearly nearing its end, and the Army Air Corps initiated a contest for the next generation of attack planes which would be all-metal, low-winged monoplanes designed specifically for the attack role.

The Curtiss entry in the contest was the XA-8. The A-8 was the first Curtiss tactical monoplane built for the U.S. Army, all previous designs by this company for the US Army having been biplanes. The A-8 had many advanced features, including an all-metal structure with an all-metal covering. It had trailing edge flaps and full span leading-edge slats, and had enclosed cockpits. The A-8 was the first Army Air Corps plane to feature trailing edge flaps, and the enclosed cockpits were the first to be installed on a US combat plane. However, the thin low-mounted wings were externally braced with struts and wires, which was definitely a throwback to an earlier era.

The crew sat in widely-separated individual cockpits. The pilot sat well forward in a completely enclosed cockpit and controlled four 0.30-inch machine guns that were mounted in the undercarriage fairings in such a way that their field of fire cleared the propeller arc. The rear cockpit was provided with its own separate canopy and was fitted with a single 0.30-inch flexible machine gun. Underwing racks could carry up to 400 pounds of bombs.

The name Shrike was commonly applied to the aircraft, but the name was a company name, and was not used by the US Army.

The first XA-8 (Model 59) was flown in June of 1931. It bore the Army serial number of 30-387. It was powered by a single 600 hp Curtiss V-1570C Conqueror water-cooled V-12 engine driving a fixed-pitch three-bladed propeller. It competed with the General Aviation

Curtiss A-8

(Fokker) XA-7 in the attack plane contest. The XA-8 was judged the better of the two

designs and won an order for 13 service-test models that was placed on September 29,

1931.

The first five of these service test aircraft were designated YA-8 (Model 59A, serials 32- 344/348). They were similar to the XA-8 except for the use of Prestone-cooled V-1570-31 engines. The remaining eight were designated Y1A-8 (serials 32-349/356), the Y1 prefix meaning that they were purchased with F-1 funds rather than from regular appropriations. All of these planes were redesignated A-8 upon the completion of service testing.

Eleven A-8s (32-345/32-355) were issued to the 3rd Attack Group based at Fort Crockett, Texas during 1932, where they served alongside the unit's Curtiss A-3B Falcon biplanes. At this time, the 3rd Attack Group was the Army's only group devoted solely to attack.

The last Y1A-8 (32-356) was converted to Y1A-8A with a 657 hp geared Curtiss V-1570- 57 engine and a revised wing. The geared Conqueror was less noisy but was heavier than the standard model. The gross weight increased to 6287 pounds. The Y1A-8A was delivered to Wright Field for tests in October 1932. In spite of the increased power, the top speed dropped 3 mph to 181 mph. The Y1A-8A was later redesignated A-8A, and was issued to the 3rd Attack Group in September of 1933.

The field trials with the A-8 were sufficiently successful that 46 production variants were ordered under the designation A-8B on February 27, 1933.

The first YA-8 (32-344) was returned to the Curtiss factory in Buffalo, New York for tests with a 625 hp Pratt & Whitney R-1690D Hornet 9-cylinder air-cooled radial engine. Following the change of engines, the aircraft was redesignated YA-10. With the new powerplant, the plane was returned to Wright Field on September 8, 1932. Tests proved that the Hornet radial engine was superior to the liquid-cooled Conqueror engine for attack aircraft. It was true that air-cooled radials were less streamlined than liquid-cooled engines, but they were less expensive to operate and did not have complex radiators that were especially vulnerable to enemy fire. The Army was so impressed that it decided that subsequent Shrikes would be delivered with radial engines, and requested that the 48 A- 8Bs on order were to switch from the geared V-1570-57 engine to the air cooled Wright Cyclone radial, this change resulting in a redesignation to A-12.

Specification of Curtiss YA-8:

Curtiss A-8

Engine: One 600 hp Curtiss V-1570E Conqueror liquid-cooled V-12 engine. Performance:

Maximum speed 183 mph at sea level. Cruising speed 153 mph at sea level. Stalling speed 64 mph. Initial climb rate 1325 feet per minute. Service ceiling 18,100 feet. Range 480 miles. Dimensions: Wingspan 44 feet 0 inches, length 32 feet 0 inches, height 9 feet 0 inches, wing area 256 square feet. Weights: 3910 pounds empty, 5888 pounds loaded. Armament: Four forward-firing 0.30-inch machine guns. One flexible 0.30-inch machine gun operated by rear observer. Ten 30-pound bombs could be carried internally, or four 100 pound bombs externally. Armament: Four forward-firing 0.30-inch machine guns. One flexible 0.30-inch machine gun operated by rear observer. Ten 30-pound bombs could be carried internally, or four 100 pound bombs externally.

Sources:

1. American Combat Planes, Third Enlarged Edition, Ray Wagner, Doubleday, 1982.

2. United States Military Aircraft Since 1909, Gordon Swanborough and Peter M. Bowers, Smithsonian, 1989.

3. Curtiss Aircraft, 1907-1947, Peter M. Bowers, Naval Institute Press, 1979.

4. The Curtiss Shrike, Kenn C. Rust and Walter M. Jefferies, Jr., Aircraft in Profile, Doubleday, 1969.

M. Jefferies, Jr., Aircraft in Profile, Doubleday, 1969. http://home.att.net/~jbaugher4/a8.html (3 of 3)07-09-2006

Lockheed A-9

Lockheed A-9

Last revised July 3, 2000

The Lockheed-Detroit YP-24 of 1931 was a design ahead of its time. It was the first USAAC low-wing monoplane fighter with retractable undercarriage and was the first USAAC fighter with enclosed cockpits. Perhaps more significantly for later developments, it was the first military pursuit design to carry the Lockheed name, although at that time Lockheed was owned by the Detroit Aircraft Corporation of Michigan.

The Lockheed Aircraft Company of Santa Barbara, California had been a going concern all throughout the 1920s, its best-known product being the famous Vega high-wing monoplane which had set so many records. However, in 1929, the management of Lockheed voted to sell majority share ownership to the Detroit Aircraft Corporation, a Michigan-based holding company which already owned the Ryan and Eastman aircraft

companies and which also had a substantial manufacturing capacity in the city of Detroit.

In July 1929, the Detroit Aircraft Corporation acquired 87 percent of the assets of

Lockheed.

On the surface, it appeared at first that the change of owners was not going to affect the day-to-day operations of Lockheed, and the functionally-independent California team went right on producing Vegas, Air Expresses, and Explorers. New designs were also forthcoming: In 1929 Lockheed produced the Sirius, in 1930 they produced the Altair, and in 1931 the Orion appeared.

However, the Detroit holding company had some ideas of its own, and these resulted in Lockheed's first entry into the pursuit field. The Detroit company undertook the private development of a prototype of a two-seat fighter based on the design of the Lockheed Altair low-wing cantilever monoplane of 1930. The Altair was unique for its time in that it possessed a cantilever monoplane wing with a fully-retractable main undercarriage. The chief engineer responsible for the project was Robert J. Woods, who was based in Detroit.

A mockup of the fighter was completed in March of 1931. It bore the Wright Field project

number of XP-900. The slim metal fuselage and the metal tail surfaces were built by

Lockheed A-9

Detroit Aircraft, but the wood-framed, plywood-covered wings as well as the undercarriage were essentially those of the Altair and were built by Lockheed in California. The final assembly and the initial testing of the aircraft were done in Detroit by the parent company.

The XP-900 was powered by a 600 hp Curtiss Conqueror V-1570C (the military designation was V-1570-23) liquid-cooled 12-cylinder vee engine driving a three-bladed propeller. The tunnel radiator and the oil cooler were housed beneath the engine just ahead of the wing. The crew of two (pilot and gunner) was housed back to back in enclosed cockpits. The aircraft was armed with two synchronized machine guns (one 0.30-in and one 0.50-in) mounted in the upper fuselage nose, plus one flexible 0.30-cal gun operated by the gunner firing upward and to the rear.

Brief manufacturer's trials were conducted in Detroit during the summer of 1931. The XP- 900 was delivered to Wright Field on Sept 29, 1931. At that time, the plane was purchased by the USAAC and given the designation YP-24. It was assigned the USAAC serial number of 32-320. The YP-24 underwent testing as a potential replacement for the Berliner-Joyce P-16 two-seat pursuit. The speed of the YP-24 was impressive for its time-- it was 40 mph faster than the P-16, but it was also 20 mph faster than the single-seat P-6E, which was at that time the fastest fighter in the USAAC inventory.

As a result of the tests, the War Department ordered five Y1P-24 two-seat fighters and four Y1A-9 two-seat attack planes. The Y1A-9 attack version differed from the pursuit version in being powered by a V-1570-27 Conqueror that was rated at a lower altitude, and it carried a heavier forward-firing armament (four machine guns) plus underwing racks for bombs. The Y1A-9 attack version was issued the Wright Field number of XA-

938.

The YP-24 was a design well ahead of its time and seemed assured of a promising future. However, on October 19, 1931 the YP-24 prototype was lost when its pilot was ordered to bale out rather than attempt a wheels-up landing after the undercarriage lever had broken off. This problem was, of course, easily correctable, but for reasons totally unrelated to the YP-24 accident, economic realities were about to overtake the Detroit Aircraft Corporation.

The timing of Detroit's acquisition of Lockheed had been particularly unfortunate, since it took place only three months before the stock market crash which was to plunge the USA

Lockheed A-9

into the Great Depression. As the Depression deepened, the Detroit Aircraft holding company found that it was in way over its head, rising losses from other operations draining it of any profit. On October 27, 1931, the Detroit Aircraft Corporation went into receivership.

The bankruptcy of the Detroit holding company meant that it could not undertake the manufacture of the Y1P-24s and Y1A-9s. The project was tentatively shelved, and no examples of either type were ever built. It did not revive until after Robert Woods had joined the Consolidated Aircraft Corporation, but that is another story!

It looked like the Depression had Lockheed on the ropes. The bankruptcy of its holding company caused the Lockheed Aircraft Corporation subsidiary to be placed under the aegis of the Title Insurance and Trust Company of Los Angeles. Staff was cut to the bone, but operations were able to continue on a shoestring basis. However, on June 16, 1932 the end of the line finally came and the doors of the Lockheed Aircraft Corporation were shut. It would seem that Lockheed would be just one out of many casualties of the Depression, going down the tubes in much the same manner as did Thomas-Morse and Berliner-Joyce, its name never to be heard again. However, only five days after the doors of the corporation had been locked, a miracle took place. A new group of investors bought the assets of the now-defunct Lockheed Aircraft Corporation for only $40,000, and the company was brought back from the dead. And the rest, as they say, is history!

Sources:

1. American Combat Planes, Third Enlarged Edition, Ray Wagner, Doubleday, 1982.

2. United States Military Aircraft Since 1909, Gordon Swanborough and Peter M. Bowers, Smithsonian, 1989.

3. The American Fighter, Enzo Angellucci and Peter Bowers, Orion Books, 1987.

4. Lockheed Aircraft Since 1913, Rene J. Francillon, Naval Institute Press, 1987.

Since 1913, Rene J. Francillon, Naval Institute Press, 1987. http://home.att.net/~jbaugher4/a9.html (3 of 3)07-09-2006

Curtiss YA-10

Curtiss YA-10

Last revised July 1, 2000

The first Curtiss YA-8 (32-344) was held up at the factory for tests with a 625 hp Pratt & Whitney R-1690D Hornet 9-cylinder air-cooled radial engine in place of the Curtiss Conqueror V-12 liquid-cooled engine that powered the other A-8s that had been delivered

to the Army. Following the change of engines, the aircraft was redesignated YA-10.

With the new powerplant, the plane was delivered to Wright Field on September 8, 1932. Flight tests proved that the radial engine was superior to the liquid-cooled Conqueror engine for attack aircraft. Air-cooled radials were less streamlined than liquid-cooled inline engines, but they were less expensive to operate and did not have to carry the complex radiators that were so vulnerable to enemy fire. The Army was so impressed with the radial-engined YA-10 that it decided that all subsequent examples would be delivered with radial engines, and immediately stipulated that the 48 A-8Bs then on order were to switch from the geared V-1570-57 engine to the air-cooled 670 hp Wright Cyclone radial, this change resulting in a redesignation to A-12.

On December 6, 1932, the YA-10 aircraft was sent to Fort Crockett for service testing, where it was assigned to the 13th Attack Squadron of the 3rd Group. It was transferred to Barksdale Field in Louisiana in July 1934 and served alongside the A-8s that had already entered service with the 3rd. It was then sent to the San Antonio Air Depot on April 29, 1934, from where it was assigned to the Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas on August 8, 1934. The A-10 was finally assigned to Chanute Field, Illinois on September 14, 1938. It was scrapped there on February 23, 1939.

A duplicate of the YA-10 was ordered for tests by the US Navy under the designation

XS2C-1. The BuNo was 9377. It was delivered to the Navy in 1933, and some tests were

carried out, but no further orders from the Navy were forthcoming.

Specification of Curtiss YA-10:

Engine: One 630 hp Pratt & Whitney R-1690D Hornet air-cooled radial Performance:

Curtiss YA-10

Maximum speed 174 mph at sea level. Cruising speed 148 mph at sea level. Stalling speed 67 mph. Dimensions: Wingspan 44 feet 0 inches, length 32 feet 0 inches, height 9 feet 0 inches, wing area 256 square feet. Weights: 3727 pounds empty, 5540 pounds loaded. Armament: Four forward-firing 0.30-inch machine guns. One flexible 0.30-inch machine gun operated by rear observer. Ten 30-pound bombs could be carried internally, or four 100 pound bombs externally.

Sources:

1. American Combat Planes, Third Enlarged Edition, Ray Wagner, Doubleday, 1982.

2. United States Military Aircraft Since 1909, Gordon Swanborough and Peter M. Bowers, Smithsonian, 1989.

3. Curtiss Aircraft, 1907-1947, Peter M. Bowers, Naval Institute Press, 1979

4. The Curtiss Shrike, Kenn C. Rust and Walter M. Jefferies, Jr., Aircraft in Profile, Doubleday, 1969.

M. Jefferies, Jr., Aircraft in Profile, Doubleday, 1969. http://home.att.net/~jbaugher4/a10.html (2 of 2)07-09-2006

Consolidated YA-11

Consolidated YA-11

Last revised July 3, 2000

When the Detroit Aircraft Corporation, went into receivership in 1931, it was unable to

fulfill its contract to manufacture YP-24 fighters and Y1A-9 attack planes for the USAAC.

In addition, Detroit Aircraft's chief engineer Robert J. Woods was now out of a job.

However, Woods was soon recruited by the Consolidated Aircraft Corporation of Buffalo, New York, and he continued to work on his YP-24 design after he went over to

Consolidated. Despite the failure of the Detroit company, the USAAC was still interested

in the YP-24 design. The Army ordered a single prototype of Wood's basic design from

Consolidated under the designation Y1P-25. The serial number was 32-321.

At first glance, Consolidated's Y1P-25 looked much the same as did the Detroit YP-24. It was a two-seat, low wing monoplane with fully-retractable main landing gear. However, there were significant differences. The Y1P-25 had an all-metal wing in place of the wood- frame, plywood-covered wing of the YP-24. In addition, the tail of the Y1P-25 was larger, and metal was substituted for the fabric covering on the tail control surfaces. The engine was a 600 hp Curtiss V-1570-27 Conqueror, 12-cylinder liquid-cooled engine with turbosupercharger mounted on the port side (the YP-24 had no supercharger). The armament was two fixed, forward-firing machine guns mounted in the upper fuselage, plus one flexible machine gun operated by the gunner in the rear cockpit.

A second prototype of the basic Consolidated design was ordered as a ground attack

aircraft. Designated Y1A-11, the aircraft differed from the Y1P-25 primarily in having a

Conqueror engine without a supercharger. In addition, the Y1A-11 had two more guns in the nose and racks for up to 400 pounds of bombs. The serial number of the Y1A-11 was

32-322.

The flight tests with the Y1P-25 and its Y1A-11 attack counterpart went quite well. However, the Y1P-25 crashed on January 13, 1933, and was so badly damaged that it was a writeoff. The Y1A-11 crashed a week later.

Consolidated YA-11

In spite of the two crashes, the USAAC did not feel that there was any intrinsic flaw in the basic design, and later that month a contract for four production examples of the pursuit version was issued under the designation P-30 (Ser Nos 33-204/207). The P-30 differed from the Y1P-25 by having a 675 hp Curtiss V-1570-57 with twin-blade constant-speed prop, simplified undercarriage, and revised cockpit canopy. Four similar A-11 (33- 308/311) attack versions were also ordered with unsupercharged V-1570-59 engines.

The A-11 had a performance far in advance over its contemporaries when deliveries began in August of 1934. However, its liquid-cooled engine blocked its wider acceptance, since the Army preferred air-cooled radial engines for its attack planes because of their lower cost and reduced vulnerability to enemy fire. Its pursuit counterpart won larger acceptance, a order for 50 P-30As being placed on December 6, 1934.

An XA-11A engine test ship modified by Bell Aircraft in December of 1936 was the first plane to take the new 1000-hp Allison XV-1710-7 engine into the air.

Specification of Consolidated A-11:

Engine: One Curtiss V-1570-59 Conqueror liquid-cooled V-12 engine without supercharger. Performance: Maximum speed 228 mph at sea level. Cruising speed 193 mph. Landing speed 84 mph. Service Ceiling 23,300 feet. Absolute ceiling 24,900 feet. An altitude of 5000 feet could be attained in 3.4 minutes. Range was 470 miles with 327 pounds of bombs. Maximum range 950 miles. Weights: 3805 pounds empty, 5490 pounds gross. Dimensions: Wingspan 43 feet 11 inches, length 29 feet 3 inches, height 9 feet 10 inches, wing area 297 square feet. Armament: Four fixed, forward-firing 0.30-inch machine guns, plus one flexible 0.30-inch machine gun operated by the observer. Up to 400 pounds of bombs could be carried.

Sources:

1. American Combat Planes, Third Enlarged Edition, Ray Wagner, Doubleday, 1982.

2. United States Military Aircraft Since 1909, Gordon Swanborough and Peter M. Bowers, Smithsonian, 1989.

3. General Dynamics Aircraft and Their Predecessors, John Wegg, Naval Institute Press, 1990.

Consolidated YA-11

Consolidated YA-11 http://home.att.net/~jbaugher4/a11.html (3 of 3)08-09-2006 20:06:24

Curtiss A-12

Curtiss A-12

Last revised July 7, 2000

The Curtiss A-12 was the first monoplane attack aircraft to serve in substantial numbers with the US Army Air Corps. It formed the bulwark of Army attack plane strength throughout the early to mid-1930s. However, the A-12 was rapidly made obsolescent by advances in aviation technology, and its service with front-line units of the Army Air Corps was quite brief. By the late 1930s, it had been relegated largely to training units. Except for 20 export versions which were sent to China, the A-12 took no part in aerial combat during World War 2.

The name Shrike was quite often applied to this aircraft, but this was actually a Curtiss company name, and was not used by the US Army for the A-12

The A-12 was a development of the Conqueror-powered A-8 via the experimental YA-10.

A

small number of Curtiss YA-8 and Y1A-8 monoplane attack planes had been delivered

to

the Army in 1932. They were powered by the Curtiss V-1570 Conqueror V-12 liquid-

cooled engine. As an experiment, the first YA-8 (32-344) was modified at the Curtiss factory in Buffalo, New York where the Conqueror engine was replaced by a Pratt &

Whitney R-1690D 9-cylinder air-cooled radial engine. The aircraft was redesignated YA-

10.

Flight tests with the YA-10 proved the advantage of an air-cooled radial engine for attack

aircraft. The Army found the radial engine less expensive to operate than the liquid-cooled V-12, and it had no complex cooling radiators exposed to enemy fire. Consequently, the Army immediately requested that the 46 A-8Bs then on order be delivered as radial- engined aircraft. This resulted in a change in designation to A-12. Serials were 33- 212/257. The engine was the Wright R-1820-21 Cyclone air-cooled radial, rated at 160 hp

at 1900 rpm.

It had been found that the wide separation between the two cockpits of the A-8 hindered communication and cooperation between the two crew members, so on the A-12 the rear cockpit was moved forward to share a common location with the pilot's cockpit. The rear

Curtiss A-12

gunner's cockpit had a sliding canopy which did not fully enclose it, whereas the pilot's cockpit was now fully open and was protected only by a windshield.

The forward section of the A-12 fuselage was of welded tubular steel construction with two wing stubs supported by two heavy struts on each side. The rear section was of monocoque construction with smooth dural skin, J section stringers and bulkheads. The two sections were joined by longeron stubs. The landing gear was attached to the underside of the wing stubs, with the rigid portion being bolted to the underside of the front and rear wing hinge fittings and braced sideways by an adjustable streamlined strut that ran to the center of the fuselage. The wheel was held by a horizontal jointed yoke, hinged at the rear to allow the wheel to move up and down. Each landing gear and wheel were completely spatted. It was possible to latch the wheels before takeoff so that they would not drop down the last six inches of their travel while in the air. However, the wheels were lowered by the pilot before landing so that the full 10-inch wheel motion was available to absorb landing shock.

The main wings were attached to the fuselage wing stub by front and rear hinge pins. They were braced at outboard points by double front and rear wires running to a strongpoint on top of the fuselage just behind the strut bracing points. On the bottom of the wing there were double front and rear bracing wires which were attached to the landing gear.

The wings of the A-12 were of all-metal construction, but with the ailerons being covered with fabric. The A-12 had a set of full-span leading edge slats which opened automatically at high angles of attack. They had shock absorbers which prevented them from opening or closing too suddenly. The A-12 also had a set of trailing edge wing flaps. The trailing edge flaps could be cranked down by as much as 35 degrees by the pilot.

The tail surfaces were of all metal construction, but the rudder and elevators were fabric- covered. The angle of incidence of the stabilizer could be adjusted in flight from +3 degrees to -6 degrees. The vertical stabilizer had a fixed offset of 21/2 degrees to the left.

The forward-firing armament consisted of four 0.30-inch Browning machine guns installed in the main landing gear spats, two guns in each member. Each gun was supplied by a 600 round magazine. These guns were aimed by a C-4 gunsight that was mounted just forward of the pilot's windshield. A single flexible 0.30-inch machine gun was provided for the observer. The A-12 could carry ten 30-lb bombs internally in a pair of N- 2 bomb racks just aft of the pilot's seat and on either side of the main fuel tank. These

Curtiss A-12

bombs were carried in a vertical position. Alternatively, an external rack capable of carrying up to four 100-pound bombs could be installed underneath the fuselage. A 52- gallon auxiliary tank could be carried in place of the bombs. The auxiliary tank could be dropped in flight. In fact, the main fuel tank could also be jettisoned in flight by means of a special release handle.

The first A-12 (33-212) arrived at Wright Field on November 21, 1933. It remained at Wright Field until scrapped in October of 1936. The second A-12 (33-213) went to Edgewood Arsenal, Maryland on November 23, and the third (33-214) went to Aberdeen, Maryland, on November 29. The remaining 43 A-12s went to the 3rd Attack Group at Fort Crockett, Texas between December 1933 and February 1934. Their unit cost was $19,483, minus government-furnished equipment. The 3rd Attack Group was commanded by Lt. Col. Horace M. Hickam.

The first operational test of the USAAC A-12s was to come from a completely unexpected source. In February of 1934, the US Government canceled all air mail contracts with private carriers and turned over the mission of flying the air mail to the US Army. The Army was completely unsuited for this task. The 3rd Attack Group given the assignment of covering the Central Zone with headquarters in Chicago. 41 A-12s from the 3rd Attack Group were assigned air mail duty. When flying the mail, the A-12s had a lockable cover placed over their rear cockpits, and some replaced the rear cockpit glass with metal. By the time of the end of the Air Mail Emergency in May of 1934 when new contracts were signed with civilian carriers, two A-12s had been lost in fatal crashes while carrying the mail.

On November 5, 1934, Colonel Hickam was killed when his A-12 (serial number 33-250) flipped over on its back after touching down short and hitting the lip of the concrete runway while landing at Fort Crockett.

The 3rd Attack Group moved to its new permanent base at Barksdale Field in Louisiana in February of 1935. The A-12s of the 3rd Attack Group began to be replaced by Northrop A- 17s in the middle of 1936. They were then dispersed to various training units. Nine A-12s went to the USAAC Tactical School at Maxwell Field, Alabama. One A-12 went to Edgewood Arsenal, replacing 33-213 which went into a depot. Ten went to Kelly Field, Texas to serve as trainers. During 1937, five more A-12s were sent to Kelly Field, four of them from Maxwell Field and one (33-214) from Aberdeen. 33-214 had been assigned from May through November of 1934 to the 37th Attack Squadron of the 8th Pursuit

Curtiss A-12

Group at Langley Field, Virginia (where it had served alongside the A-8s) and had been returned to Aberdeen. 15 of the 3rd Group's A-12s were sent to Wheeler Field in Hawaii in 1936. They were joined by six more A-12s in 1937, including 33-213 which had been at Edgewood and five from Maxwell Field. They were assigned to the 26th Attack Squadron which was part of the 18th Composite Group. The A-12s were transferred to Hickam Field in 1940. Nine A-12s were still there when Pearl Harbor was attacked on December 7, 1941. However, they did not participate in any combat. One of the nine Pearl Harbor- based A-12s was scrapped in May of 1942, and 8 were returned to the mainland where they were used as instructional airframes.

Of the 16 A-12s that stayed on the mainland in 1937, 33-237 stayed at Edgewood until scrapped there in January 1942. The other 15 remained at Kelly Field, where there were scrapped in 1937 and 1938. The 12 remaining A-12s were then sent to Maxwell Field during 1938 and remained there until removed from service. The last two, 33-223 and 33- 252, became instructional airframes in March of 1942. No US Army A-12s saw any combat during World War 2.

20 export versions of the A-12 were sold to China in 1936. The Export Shrikes had a more

powerful engine, a Wright SR-1820F-52 radial rated at 775 hp at full throttle and 890 hp for takeoff. Armament and fuel capacity was the same as that of the A-12. The Export Shrike had a maximum speed of 182 mph at sea level, 6 mph faster than the A-12. When the Japanese opened hostilities against China in 1937, these planes were soon involved in combat. It appears that few if any of the Chinese Shrikes survived the first year of the war.

I do not know if any A-12s survive today.

Serials of Curtiss A-12:

33-212/257

Specification of Curtiss A-12:

Powerplant: One 670 hp Wright R-1820-21 air-cooled radial engine. Performance:

Maximum speed 177 mph at sea level. Cruising speed 151 mph at sea level. Stalling speed

67 mph. Initial climb rate 1170 feet per minute. Service ceiling 15,150 feet. Range 450

miles. Dimensions: Wingspan 44 feet 0 inches, length 32 feet 3 inches, height 9 feet 4 inches, wing area 284.5 square feet. Weights: 3898 pounds empty, 5736 pounds loaded. Armament: Four forward-firing 0.30-inch machine guns. One flexible 0.30-inch machine

Curtiss A-12

gun operated by rear observer. Ten 30-pound bombs could be carried internally, or four 100 pound bombs externally.

Sources:

1. American Combat Planes, Third Enlarged Edition, Ray Wagner, Doubleday, 1982.

2. Kenn C. Rust and Walter M. Jefferies, Jr., The Curtiss Shrike, Aircraft in Profile, Doubleday, 1969.

3. United States Military Aircraft Since 1909, Gordon Swanborough and Peter M. Bowers, Smithsonian, 1989.

Gordon Swanborough and Peter M. Bowers, Smithsonian, 1989. http://home.att.net/~jbaugher4/a12.html (5 of 5)08-09-2006

Northrop YA-13

Northrop YA-13

Last revised July 7, 2000

The Northrop YA-13 attack plane of the mid-1930s has a very convoluted and complex origin. Sit back and get yourself a cup of coffee while I tell you its story.

The design of the YA-13 can be said to begin back in January of 1932, when John K. Northrop and Donald W. Douglas joined forces to set up the Northrop Corporation as a partially-owned subsidiary of the Douglas Aircraft Company. The new company was based at El Segundo, California.

One of the first products of the new Northrop Corporation was the Gamma special- purpose and mail-carrying aircraft. The first two examples built were known as the Gamma 2A and Gamma 2B. The Gamma 2A was built for the well known pilot Frank Hawks and the Gamma 2B was built for the Lincoln Ellsworth Trans-Antarctic Expedition. Each plane had an enclosed cockpit set on top of the fuselage aft of the wings. The two planes were completed in August of 1932.

The Gamma 2A was a low-winged, cantilever monoplane powered by a 785 hp geared Wright GR-1510 Whirlwind fourteen-cylinder air-cooled radial driving a three-bladed propeller. It was initially registered X12265 and was a single seater with the pilot's cockpit located aft of the wing and enclosed by a streamlined canopy. The wings were of multi- spar construction with the center section built integrally with the fuselage and the outer panels being bolted to the center section. The main landing gear was fixed and enclosed in large streamlined trousers. The tailwheel was spatted. Initially, the Gamma 2A was fitted with a set of full-span flaps and "park bench" ailerons which were mounted above the wing trailing edge. However, more conventional ailerons were later installed and flaps of reduced length and area were adopted. A large compartment was provided in the fuselage forward of the cockpit, but this was not normally used.

The Gamma 2A was purchased by Texaco on December 6, 1932 and was put at the disposal of Frank Hawks for record-breaking and advertising purposes. It was given the civilian registration NR12265, and flew with the Texaco Sky Chief logo prominently

Northrop YA-13

displayed. It set a number of records, including a nonstop flight between Los Angeles and New York in 13 hours 27 minutes at an average speed of 181 mph on June 2, 1933. In 1934, Texaco sold the Gamma 2A to industrialist Gar Woods, who entered the plane in the 1936 Bendix Trophy Race from New York to Los Angeles. Unfortunately, during this flight the plane caught fire in the air and the pilot, Joseph P. Jacobson, was forced to parachute to safety. The Gamma 2A crashed near Stafford, Kansas, and was completely destroyed.

Its stablemate, the Gamma 2B (registration X122269) was handed over to Lincoln Ellsworth on November 29, 1931. It was named Polar Star, and had been ordered for a proposed flight across the Antarctic continent. It differed from the Gamma 2A in having a longer transparent cockpit canopy that could house a second crew member in addition to the pilot. It was powered by a single 500 hp Pratt & Whitney Wasp SD nine-cylinder air- cooled radial engine driving a two-bladed propeller. Since the Gamma 2B was intended for use in Antarctica, it could be fitted with skis in place of the main and tailwheels, and could be fitted with twin Edo floats replacing the trousered main undercarriage. It was initially flown with full-span flaps and "park bench" ailerons, but these were replaced by conventional ailerons before the plane was shipped by boat to Antarctica.

The Polar Star flew several pioneering mapping and survey flights in the Antarctic continent, including the discovery of mountain ranges and islands that were previously unknown. It succeeded in making the first crossing of the Antarctic continent in November of 1935. The Polar Star is now on display at the National Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C., occupying a place of honor for making one of the epic flights in aviation history.

Since the performance of the Gamma 2A and 2B substantially exceeded that of the Curtiss A-12 Shrike, Northrop decided in early 1933 to undertake at its own expense the development of an attack version of the Gamma, the Gamma 2C. The Gamma 2C retained the wings and trousered undercarriage of the previous two Gamma aircraft, but differed from them in having a new fuselage with a new two-seat enclosed cockpit. The cockpit was moved much further forward, with the pilot now sitting slightly behind the wing leading edge. The Gamma 2C was powered by a 735 hp Wright SR-1820-F2 nine-cylinder air-cooled radial driving a two-bladed propeller. It was fitted to carry up to 1100 pounds of bombs externally between its trousered main undercarriage units. The Gamma 2C was armed with four wing-mounted 0.30-inch machine guns and one flexible 0.30-inch machine gun firing either upward from the rear cockpit or downward through a ventral

Northrop YA-13

hatch underneath the fuselage.

The Gamma 2C was flown for the first time in the spring of 1933. It bore the civilian registration X12291. It was then delivered under a bailment contract to the Army Air Corps for evaluation at Wright Field in Ohio. Flight tests revealed the need for some modifications, and the Gamma 2C was returned to Northrop in February of 1934.

While at Northrop, a number of internal modifications were made to the Gamma 2C. In addition, the vertical tail surfaces were changed from the original trapezoidal shape to a more triangular shape. In this form, the US Army purchased the Gamma 2C on June 28, 1934. It was designated YA-13, and was assigned the serial number 34-27.

In order to improve the aircraft's performance and the pilot's forward visibility, the YA-13

aircraft was again returned to Northrop in January of 1935 to be re-engined with the smaller diameter 950 hp Pratt & Whitney R-1830-7 fourteen-cylinder air-cooled radial. This engine change resulted in the YA-13 being redesignated YA-16.

While waiting for the Army to make up its mind, 49 export versions of the YA-13 were built for the Chinese Government as light bombers. They were known as Gamma 2E, and were generally similar to the Gamma 2C in its original configuration. They were powered by 710 hp Wright SR-1820-F3 engines driving two-bladed propellers. The Gamma 2E was fitted with a partially retractable bomb-aimer's tub underneath the fuselage just aft of the wing that was operated by the bomb-aimer/gunner sitting in the rear seat. The armament consisted of four forward-firing 0.30-inch machine guns in the wings and one 0.30-inch machine gun operated by the bomb-aimer/gunner. A maximum bombload of 1600 pounds could be carried. The first Gamma 2E was delivered to China on February 19, 1934. The first 24 Gamma 2Es were manufactured and assembled by Northrop, but the remaining 25 were delivered to China in kit form and assembled by the Central Aircraft Manufacturing Company (CAMCO) at Loiwing.

The Gamma 2Es were in action with the Chinese Army Air Arm against the Japanese when they invaded China in August of 1937. However all, all 49 aircraft were rapidly destroyed either in training accidents or by the fury of the Japanese onslaught.

A single civilian version known as the Gamma 2ED-C was built in July 1934 as a

demonstrator aircraft. It was powered by a 735 hp SR-1820-F53 radial. The initial civil registration was X13760. In early 1935, it was piloted by Frank Hawks and G. H. Irving in

Northrop YA-13

a 20,000 mile tour through Central and South America to locate suitable airfields for a proposed "Round America Air Race". X13760 was later sold to the British Air Ministry in 1935 for evaluation, where it was assigned the RAF serial number K5053. It was tested by the A & AEE at Martlesham Heath. Its ultimate fate is unknown.

Specification of Northrop YA-13:

Engine: One 735 hp Wright SR-1820-F2 nine-cylinder air-cooled radial. Performance:

Maximum speed 207 mph at 3300 feet. Cruising speed 198 mph. Initial climb rate 1300 feet per minute. Service ceiling 21,750 feet. Maximum range 1100 miles. Weights: 3600 pounds empty, 6463 pounds loaded, 6575 pounds maximum. Dimensions: Wing span 48 feet 0 inches, length 29 feet 2 inches, height 9 feet 2 inches, wing area 363 square feet. Armament: Four wing-mounted 0.30-inch machine guns and one flexible 0.30-inch machine gun firing either upward from the rear cockpit or downward through a ventral hatch. Up to 1100 pounds of bombs could be carried on external under-fuselage racks.

Sources:

1. American Combat Planes, Third Enlarged Edition, Ray Wagner, Doubleday, 1982.

2. McDonnell Douglas Aircraft Since 1920: Volume I, Rene J. Francillon, Naval Institute Press, 1988.

3. United States Military Aircraft Since 1909, Gordon Swanborough and Peter M. Bowers, Smithsonian, 1989.

Gordon Swanborough and Peter M. Bowers, Smithsonian, 1989. http://home.att.net/~jbaugher4/a13.html (4 of 4)08-09-2006

Curtiss XA-14

Curtiss XA-14

Last revised July 8, 2000

In 1934, the Curtiss company began work on a two-seat, twin-engined attack aircraft as a private venture. The aircraft was known as Model 76 by the company. It was also known under the company name Shrike, which was a generic name applied by Curtiss to many of its attack aircraft.

The Model 76 was a cantilever mid-winged monoplane of all-metal construction but with fabric covering for the moveable control surfaces as well as for the wing aft of the front spar. The aircraft was powered by a pair of Wright R-1670-5 twin-row air-cooled radial engines mounted inside circular-cowled nacelles and driving twin-bladed two-position propellers. The main undercarriage members retracted rearward into the back of the engine nacelles, but leaving half of each wheel exposed. The tailwheel was retractable as well.

The pilot sat well forward underneath a sliding canopy, whereas the observer/gunner sat well to the rear underneath his own sliding canopy. The short nose had four 0.30-inch machine guns, and a single flexible 0.30-inch machine gun in the rear cockpit. Bombs were carried internally in a fuselage bomb bay.

The aircraft took off on its first flight on July 17, 1935. Since it was a company-owned demonstrator, the Model 76 carried a civil registration of X15314. It was tested by the Army at Wright Field in Ohio, and then returned to Curtiss for modifications. These modifications included a change in engine cowling shape and the installation of new constant-speed propellers. In December of 1935, the Army purchased the Model 76 under the designation XA-14. The serial number was 36-146.

Although the maximum speed of 254 mph made the XA-14 ten mph faster than the Consolidated P-30 two-seat fighter and 20 mph faster than the Boeing P-26A single-seat fighter. the Army was reluctant to enter into any large-scale contract for the A-14 because of its high cost. In depression-ridden America, the $90,000 (without engines) pricetag on each A-14 made it much too expensive for a large scale order. Nevertheless, thirteen

Curtiss XA-14

service test examples were ordered on July 23, 1936. They were powered by single-row Wright R-1820-47 Cyclones driving three-bladed propellers. As was typical in those days, the change of engine resulted in a change of designation, to Y1A-18.

Lacking any large-scale orders, Curtiss wanted to use its Model 76 to set some aviation records, but instead it was decided in June 1936 to use the XA-14 to test a new 37-mm cannon. The sole XA-14 was scrapped in August 1938 after only 158 flying hours.

Specification of Curtiss XA-14

Engines: Two Wright R-1670-5 air-cooled radials, each rated at 775 hp at 10,000 feet. Performance: Maximum speed 254 mph at 9750, 249 mph at 4550 feet, 243 mph at sea level. Cruising speed 211 mph. Landing speed 75 mph. Service ceiling 27,125 feet. Absolute ceiling 28,500 feet. Initial climb rate 1685 feet per minute. Range 816 miles with 600 pounds of bombs. Dimensions: Wingspan 54 feet 5 inches, length 40 feet 3 inches, height 10 feet 9 inches, wing area 526 square feet. Weights: 8456 pounds empty, 11,738 pounds gross. Armament: Four fixed 0.30-inch forward-firing machine guns in the nose, plus one flexible 0.30-inch machine gun in the rear cockpit. A maximum internal bomb load of 654 pounds could be carried.

Sources:

1. American Combat Planes, Third Enlarged Edition, Ray Wagner, Doubleday, 1982.

2. Curtiss Aircraft, 1907-1947, Peter M. Bowers, Naval Institute Press, 1979.

3. United States Military Aircraft Since 1909, Gordon Swanborough and Peter M. Bowers, Smithsonian, 1989.

4. Grind 'em Out Ground Attack--The Search for the Elusive Fighter Bomber, Anson McCullough, Wings, August 1995.

Fighter Bomber, Anson McCullough, Wings, August 1995. http://home.att.net/~jbaugher4/a14.html (2 of 2)08-09-2006

Martin XA-15

Martin XA-15

Last revised July 1, 2000

In May of 1934, an attack version of the Martin YB-10 twin-engined bomber was proposed under the designation XA-15. It was to have had two 750 hp Wright R-1820-25 engines. Wingspan was to have been 70 feet 6 inches, and length was to have been 44 feet 8 inches. Gross weight was to have been 12,356 pounds, and maximum speed was estimated to be 214 mph at 4500 feet.

The design was dropped in favor of the faster Curtiss XA-14 before anything could be built.

Sources:

1. American Combat Planes, Third Enlarged Edition, Ray Wagner, Doubleday, 1982.

2. US Army Aircraft, 1908-1946, James C. Fahey, Ships and Aircraft, 1946.

Aircraft, 1908-1946, James C. Fahey, Ships and Aircraft, 1946. http://home.att.net/~jbaugher4/a15.html08-09-2006 20:07:10

Northrop XA-16

Northrop XA-16

Last revised July 8, 2000

In the early 1930s, the Northrop Corporation had produced the Gamma 2C, a company- financed prototype for a two-seat attack aircraft. The Gamma 2C was based on the Gamma 2A and 2B research aircraft. It retained the wings and trousered undercarriage of the previous two Gamma aircraft, but differed from them in having a new fuselage with a new two-seat enclosed cockpit. The cockpit was moved much further forward, with the pilot now sitting slightly behind the wing leading edge.

The Gamma 2C was powered by a 735 hp Wright SR-1820-F2 nine-cylinder air-cooled radial driving a two-bladed propeller. The Gamma 2C was armed with four wing-mounted 0.30-inch machine guns and one flexible 0.30-inch machine gun firing either upward from the rear cockpit or downward through a ventral hatch underneath the fuselage. It was able to carry up to 1100 pounds of bombs externally between its trousered main undercarriage units.

The Army purchased the Gamma 2C under the designation YA-13 on June 28, 1934. The serial number 34-27 was applied.

Flight tests of the YA-13 indicated that the installation of an engine of greater power would result in substantially increased performance. In addition, the large diameter of the Wright SR-1820 radial engine of the YA-13 obscured the pilot's forward view. In order to improve the performance and the pilot's forward visibility, the YA-13 aircraft was returned to Northrop in January of 1935 to be re-engined with the smaller diameter but more powerful 950 hp Pratt & Whitney R-1830-7 Twin Wasp fourteen-cylinder air-cooled radial. This engine change resulted in the YA-13 being redesignated YA-16.

The XA-16 flew for the first time in March of 1935. Flight tests indicated that the XA-16 was now over-powered, and that if the aircraft ever went into production it should either have a smaller engine or else have larger tail surfaces. The Gamma 2F, another private venture project of Northrop, already featured a smaller engine and this version was ordered into production as the A-17, so no further work was carried out on the XA-16.

Northrop XA-16

The XA-16 was later fitted with a 950 hp R-1830-9 engine. It ended its life at an aircraft mechanics' school at Roosevelt Field.

Specification of Northrop XA-16:

One Pratt & Whitney R-1830-7 Twin Wasp fourteen-cylinder air-cooled radial, rated at 950 hp for takeoff and 850 hp at 8000 feet. Performance: Maximum speed 212 mph. Weights: 6750 pounds maximum. Dimensions: Wing span 48 feet 0 inches, length 29 feet 8 inches, wing area 363 square feet. Armament: Four wing-mounted 0.30-inch machine guns and one flexible 0.30-inch machine gun firing either upward from the rear cockpit or downward through a ventral hatch. Up to 1100 pounds of bombs could be carried on external under-fuselage racks.

Sources:

1. American Combat Planes, Third Enlarged Edition, Ray Wagner, Doubleday, 1982.

2. United States Military Aircraft Since 1909, Gordon Swanborough and Peter M. Bowers, Smithsonian, 1989.

3. McDonnell Douglas Aircraft Since 1920: Volume I, Rene J. Francillon, Naval Institute Press, 1988.

Volume I, Rene J. Francillon, Naval Institute Press, 1988. http://home.att.net/~jbaugher4/a16.html (2 of 2)08-09-2006

Northrop A-17

Northrop A-17

Northrop A-17 Northrop A-17A Northrop A-17AS Douglas DB-8A for Sweden Douglas 8A-2 for Argentina Douglas 8A-3P for
Northrop A-17A Northrop A-17 Northrop A-17AS Douglas DB-8A for Sweden Douglas 8A-2 for Argentina Douglas 8A-3P for Peru
Northrop A-17AS Northrop A-17 Northrop A-17A Douglas DB-8A for Sweden Douglas 8A-2 for Argentina Douglas 8A-3P for Peru
Douglas DB-8A for Sweden Northrop A-17 Northrop A-17A Northrop A-17AS Douglas 8A-2 for Argentina Douglas 8A-3P for Peru Douglas 8A-3N
Douglas 8A-2 for Argentina A-17 Northrop A-17A Northrop A-17AS Douglas DB-8A for Sweden Douglas 8A-3P for Peru Douglas 8A-3N for
Douglas 8A-3P for Peru Douglas 8A-3N for the Northrop A-17 Northrop A-17A Northrop A-17AS Douglas DB-8A for Sweden Douglas 8A-2 for Argentina Netherlands
NetherlandsA-17A Northrop A-17AS Douglas DB-8A for Sweden Douglas 8A-2 for Argentina Douglas 8A-3P for Peru Douglas

Douglas 8A-4 for IraqDouglas 8A-3P for Peru Douglas 8A-3N for the Netherlands Douglas 8A-5 for Norway, A-33

Douglas 8A-5 for Norway, A-33Peru Douglas 8A-3N for the Netherlands Douglas 8A-4 for Iraq http://home.att.net/~jbaugher4/a17.html08-09-2006 20:07:25

Netherlands Douglas 8A-4 for Iraq Douglas 8A-5 for Norway, A-33 http://home.att.net/~jbaugher4/a17.html08-09-2006 20:07:25

Northrop A-17

Northrop A-17

Last revised September 3, 2000

The Northrop A-17 series of single-engined attack bombers were the backbone of the USAAC's attack aircraft strength during the late 1930s. The A-17 was well-armed, had a good performance, was reliable and dependable, and was widely exported. Although a fairly advanced design when it first appeared, the A-17 was rapidly eclipsed by advancing technology and soon became obsolescent. Even before American entry into the Second World War, the A-17 had been taken out of front-line service with the USAAC and largely relegated to training roles. It saw no combat in American colors, but its export versions did see some action.

The direct ancestor of the A-17 series was the Northrop Gamma 2F. The Gamma 2F (c/n 44) was a private venture prototype for a two-seat attack bomber. It was a development of the Gamma 2C two-seat attack bomber prototype, but differed from the Gamma 2C in having a 750 hp Pratt & Whitney R-1535-11 Twin Wasp Junior fourteen cylinder radial driving a three-bladed propeller. This engine had a smaller diameter than either the R- 1830-7 or 9 of the XA-16, which made the forward view much better. In addition, the Gamma 2F had a smaller and longer fully-glazed canopy, with the radio operator/gunner being moved further aft. The fuselage was more streamlined and the tail surfaces were revised. The main undercarriage was partially retractable, with the main members retracting rearwards into large, bulky underwing fairings.

The Gamma 2F was delivered to the Army for evaluation on October 6, 1934. The results of the evaluation were generally favorable, but the Army wanted additional streamlining. The aircraft was returned to Northrop for modifications. Since the semi-retractable undercarriage Had resulted in only a slight improvement in performance, it was replaced by a fixed undercarriage, with struts and open-sided wheel fairings. In addition, the cowling, fuselage lines, and tail shape were all refined to obtain better aerodynamic streamlining. The shape of the cockpit canopy was extensively revised, and an unglazed section was added between the sliding canopies that covered the pilot's and gunner's cockpits.

Northrop A-17

On December 24, 1934, the Army announced their intention to purchase 110 production examples of the Gamma 2F under the designation A-17. Although the A-17 was well armed and had a good performance, perhaps its most salient selling point was its low cost-- under $19,000 apiece, minus government-furnished equipment. This made it especially attractive in an America struggling with the Great Depression. The contract was officially signed on March 1, 1935. This was the largest prewar Army attack contract, and was a bonanza for the new Northrop branch.

It had been hoped that the larger GR-1820 Cyclone or the R-1830-7 Wasp could be installed in the production A-17, so the YA-13 prototype was returned to Northrop for fitting with this engine. However, the YA-13 was significantly overpowered with the R- 1830-7, and to prevent disruption of production, it was decided that the production A-17 would retain the smaller R-1535.

In modified form, the Gamma 2F aircraft was delivered to the Army Air Corps on July 27, 1935 as the first A-17 (serial number 35-51). 109 production A-17s (35-52/160) were delivered between December 1935 and January 1937. They were powered by the 750 hp R- 1535-11 and were armed with four wing-mounted and one flexible 0.30-inch machine gun. They differed from the prototype in being fitted with three-segment perforated air brakes which extended between the ailerons.

The first true production A-17 (35-52) was sent to Wright Field in December of 1935. The A-17s were initially evaluated at Wright Field and by the Technical Training Command at Chanute Field, Illinois. Beginning in February of 1936, A-17s were delivered to the 3rd Attack Group (8th, 13th and 90th Squadrons) based at Barksdale Field, Louisiana. They were also supplied to the 17th Attack Group (34th, 37th, and 95th Squadrons) based at March Field, California, which had recently converted from P-26A pursuits.

The A-17s were powered by the 750hp Pratt & Whitney R-1535-11 radial. They Were armed with four 0.30-inch machine guns in the wings and a single 0.30-inch gun on a flexible mount in the rear fuselage. The ventral firing system tested out on the prototype was deleted on production examples. Up to 20 30-lb bombs could be carried in small bomb bays in the fuselage.

Within a year, the A-17s were supplemented in these two groups by faster retractable- undercarriage A-17As. Shortly thereafter, the A-17s were transferred to training and auxiliary units. By the time of Pearl Harbor, the A-17 was thoroughly obsolete, and the

Northrop A-17

surviving examples were being used only as advanced trainers or as squadron hacks. Most of them ended their lives at mechanics' schools during the early war war years.

A-17 35-122 was used by the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA) to investigate the characteristics of laminar-flow aerofoils. New highly-polished surfaces were built over and around the existing wing structure. The new surfaces were highly polished and protruded ahead of the leading edge and behind the trailing edge, nearly doubling the wing chord inboard of the ailerons. A two-bladed propeller driven by a small auxiliary engine was mounted on each side forward of the new leading edge to increase the speed of the airflow over the wing. However, it was found that it was much easier to obtain the same data by using conventional wind tunnels, and NACA discontinued the project.

Serials of Northrop A-17:

35-051/160

Northrop A-17 c/n 44, 75/183

Specification of Northrop A-17:

Engine: One 750 hp Pratt & Whitney R-1535-11 Twin Wasp Junior fourteen-cylinder air- cooled radial engine. Performance: Maximum speed 207 mph at sea level. Cruising speed 170 mph. Landing speed 67.5 mph. Initial climb rate 1530 feet per minute. An altitude of 5000 feet could be reached in 3.8 minutes. Service ceiling 20,700 feet. Absolute ceiling 22,150 feet. Normal range 650 miles with 654 pounds of bombs. Maximum range 1240 miles. Dimensions: Wingspan 47 feet 8 1/2 inches, Length 31 feet 8 5/8 inches, Height 11 feet 10 1/2 inches, Wing area 363 square feet. Weights: 4874 pounds empty, 7447 pounds loaded. Armament: Four wing-mounted 0.30-inch machine guns, plus one flexible 0.30- inch machine gun operated by rear cockpit gunner. Normal bomb load included twenty 30- pound fragmentation bombs carried in chutes inside the fuselage and four external 100- pound bombs. Maximum bombload was 1200 pounds.

Sources:

1. American Combat Planes, Third Enlarged Edition, Ray Wagner, Doubleday, 1982.

2. United States Military Aircraft Since 1909, Gordon Swanborough and Peter M.

Northrop A-17

Bowers, Smithsonian, 1989.

3. McDonnell Douglas Aircraft Since 1920, Volume I, Rene J. Francillon, Naval Institue Press, 1988.

4. Northrop's Connection--The Unsung A-17 Attack Aircraft and its Legacy, Alain J. Pelletier, Air Enthusiast, May/June 1998, No 75.

5. E-mail from Charles Hinton on 13th Squadron having A-17s at Barksdale Field.

Hinton on 13th Squadron having A-17s at Barksdale Field. http://home.att.net/~jbaugher4/a17_1.html (4 of 4)08-09-2006

Northrop A-17A

Northrop A-17A

Last revised September 3, 2000

While production of the A-17 was underway, Northrop proposed the development of a version of the A-17 with a fully retractable main undercarriage. This retractable undercarriage consisted of a set of main wheels attached to the forward edge of the wing which retracted inwards into wheel wells underneath the fuselage. This retractable undercarriage was first tested on the Gamma 2J experimental advanced trainer. The A-17 design turned out to be readily adaptable to a retractable undercarriage, with relatively few changes being required. However, the use of the retractable undercarriage did require that the inboard leading edge wing roots be extended to provide space for the wheels.

On January 29, 1936, an initial order was placed for 100 retractable- undercarriage versions of the A-17, which were assigned the designation A-17A. Serials were 36- 162/261. The first production A-17A (36-162) flew for the first time on July 16, 1936. There were some teething problems with the retractable undercarriage, which resulted in a delay of delivery to the USAAC until February 4, 1937. The aircraft was used for testing during this period, and two accidents caused by undercarriage failures caused the delivery of the second production aircraft to be delayed until April 1937. Once these difficulties were cleared up, the the 100 A-17As were delivered between April and December of 1937. A further 29 A-17As (38-327/355) were ordered during the second half of 1937, and these were delivered between June and September 1938.

All A-17As were powered by a 825 hp R-1535-13 Twin Wasp Junior engine. They were armed with four wing-mounted 0.30-inch machine guns and had a flexible 0.30-inch machine gun operated by the gunner in the rear cockpit. Normal bombload was four externally-carried 100-lb bombs or 20 30lb anti-personnel bombs carried internally. A maximum bombload was 1200 pounds.

The A-17As were delivered in 1937 to the 3rd Attack Group (8th, 13th, and 90th Squadrons) at Barksdale Field, Louisiana and to the 17th Attack Group (34th, 37th, and 95th Squadrons) based at March Field, California. They supplemented and later replaced the fixed-undercarriage A-17s serving with these units. The A-17A was fairly fast and had

Northrop A-17A

a fairly heavy forward-firing armament for its time, and during 1938-39 war games it was deemed to be the most effective ground attack aircraft yet devised. However, the Army decided that twin-engined attack aircraft offered substantial advantages over the single- engined types then in service, and the career of the A-17A with the Army was quite brief. After only three years of service with the Army, the A-17As were declared surplus.

Following the beginning of the Second World War with the German invasion of Poland, the French Armee de l'Air felt an urgent need for dive bombers, and since the US Army considered the A-17A to be obsolescent, the French Purchasing Commission that was touring the USA looking for aircraft was given permission to obtain 93 of the ex-USAAC

A-17As.

The 93 A-17As ordered by France were withdrawn from USAAF service and were returned to the Northrop factory (which was by this time known simply as the El Segundo Division of Douglas) where they were refurbished and re-engined with 825 hp Pratt & Whitney Twin Wasp JrS2A5-G engines. Unfortunately, by the time that the planes were ready for delivery, France had fallen. The contract was then taken over by the British Purchasing Commission, which at that time was willing to buy just about anything that had wings. The British A-17As were given the RAF name Nomad. RAF serials were AS440/AS462, AS958/AS976, and AW420/AW438.

However, the RAF also deemed the Nomad to be obsolescent, and decided to restrict it from combat operations. 60 of the RAF Nomads were transferred to South Africa. 17 were lost at sea en enroute. The survivors were taken on charge in February 1941 by the SAAF, where they were used for training. None of these aircraft ever saw any combat. They remained in service until the end of 1942 when they were replaced by Fairey Battles. The last SAAF Nomads were struck off charge in 1944.

Those A-17As still in the USA were used during the early war years as advanced trainers

or as squadron hacks before ending their lives in mechanics' schools. None of these aircraft ever saw any combat either. The last A-17A was struck off charge on October 31,

1944.

A-17A (36-184) was used by the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA) during 1939 to test new types of engine cowlings. Initially, the aircraft was fitted with a large propeller spinner which completely covered the engine front air intake. Large ducts were built into the wing roots to provide air for engine cooling. However, before flight

Northrop A-17A

testing could begin ground tests indicated that the engine temperature rose too high and NACA decided not to try and fly the aircraft in such a configuration. NACA removed the wing ducts and replaced the oversized spinner with a ducted spinner with a large hole in its center that incorporated impeller blades which forced cooling air to the engine. Engine cooling while on the ground was much more effective than the NACA cowling used by the conventional A-17A--the engine could be operated at full throttle on the ground for 15 minutes without cylinder temperatures exceeding their limits. Although there was a slight decrease in speed with the nose blower, the results of the speed tests were considered inconclusive and the project was not pursued any further. 36-184 was de-modded to standard configuration and returned to the Air Corps on June 21, 1940.

A-17A 35-122 was used by NACA at Langley Field to test several aerodynamic innovations. At first it was used to test new exaust pipes. Later, it was used to test new laminar flow airfoils. The aircraft was eventually returned to the Air Corps.

A-17A 36-207 is on display at the USAF Museum in Dayton, Ohio.

Serials of Northrop A-17A:

36-162/261

38-327/355

Northrop A-17A c/n 189/288 Northrop A-17A c/n 381/409

Specification of Northrop A-17A:

Engine: One Pratt & Whitney R-1535-13 Twin Wasp Junior fourteen-cylinder air-cooled radial engine, rated at 825 hp at 2500 feet. Performance: Maximum speed 220 mph at sea level. Cruising speed 170 mph. Landing speed 64 mph. Initial climb rate 1350 feet per minute. An altitude of 5000 feet could be reached in 3.9 minutes. Service ceiling 19,400 feet. Normal range 730 miles with 654 pounds of bombs. Maximum range 1195 miles. Dimensions: Wingspan 47 feet 9 inches, Length 31 feet 8 inches, Height 12 feet 0 inches, Wing area 363 square feet. Weights: 5106 pounds empty, 7550 pounds loaded. Armament:

Four wing-mounted 0.30-inch machine guns, plus one flexible 0.30-inch machine gun operated by rear cockpit gunner. Normal bombload was four externally-carried 100-lb bombs or 20 30lb anti-personnel bombs carried internally. Maximum bombload was 1200 pounds.

Northrop A-17A

Sources:

1. American Combat Planes, Third Enlarged Edition, Ray Wagner, Doubleday, 1982.

2. United States Military Aircraft Since 1909, Gordon Swanborough and Peter M. Bowers, Smithsonian, 1989.

3. McDonnell Douglas Aircraft Since 1920, Volume I, Rene J. Francillon, Naval Institue Press, 1988.

4. Northrop's Connection--The Unsung A-17 Attack Aircraft and its Legacy, Alain J. Pelletier, Air Enthusiast, May/June 1998, No 75.

5. E-mail from Charles Hinton on 13th Squadron having A-17s at Barksdale

Charles Hinton on 13th Squadron having A-17s at Barksdale http://home.att.net/~jbaugher4/a17_2.html (4 of 4)08-09-2006

Northrop A-17AS

Northrop A-17AS

Last revised July 8, 2000

The A-17AS was a three-seat unarmed staff transport version of the A-17A. The S stood for "Staff" or for "Special". Two examples were ordered on March 20, 1936. Although they bore manufacturer's numbers 289 and 290 which followed those assigned to the first batch of A-17As, they were actually built and delivered before the A-17As.

The first A-17AS (36-349) was powered by a 600 hp direct-drive Pratt & Whitney R-1340- 41 nine-cylinder air-cooled radial driving a three-bladed propeller. It was delivered on July 17, 1936. It served as Maj Gen Oscar Westover's personal aircraft. General Westover was the chief of the Army Air Corps, and he personally flew the airplane for more than two years for inspection trips and for attending Army maneuvers. On September 21, 1938, this aircraft crashed at Burbank, California, killing General Westover and his mechanic S/ Sgt Sameul Hymes.

The second A-17AS (36-350) was assigned as Brigadier General Henry H. Arnold's personal transport. Brig Gen Following the death of General Westover, General Arnold was named as his successor as Air Corps chief, and he remained so throughout the Second World War. The second A-17AS was powered by a 600 hp geared R-1340-45 radial driving a two-bladed propeller. 36-350 was lost in an accident on March 2, 1940, but Arnold was not on board that day.

Sources:

1. American Combat Planes, Third Enlarged Edition, Ray Wagner, Doubleday, 1982.

2. McDonnell Douglas Aircraft Since 1920, Volume I, Rene J. Francillon, Naval Institue Press, 1988.

3. United States Military Aircraft Since 1909, Gordon Swanborough and Peter M. Bowers, Smithsonian, 1989.

Northrop A-17AS

4. Northrop's Connection--The Unsung A-17 Attack Aircraft and its Legacy, Alain J. Pelletier, Air Enthusiast, May/June 1998, No 75.

Alain J. Pelletier, Air Enthusiast, May/June 1998, No 75. http://home.att.net/~jbaugher4/a17_3.html (2 of 2)08-09-2006

Douglas DB-8A for Sweden

Douglas DB-8A for Sweden

Last revised July 8, 2000

Spurred by the success of the A-17 series of US Army attack planes, the Northrop company developed a number of export versions of the A-17 for sales to overseas customers. These were initially known as the Northrop Model 8, but by the time that they were produced Jack Northrop had left the division that bore his name to strike out on his own once again. The Northrop branch was now known simply as the El Segundo Division of Douglas, and consequently these export versions were known as the Douglas 8A or DB- 8A, where DB stood for "Douglas Bomber".

The first of these was the Model 8A-1, or DB-8A-1. The Douglas Model 8A-1 was developed for Sweden, which ordered one prototype and parts for a second machine which would act as a pattern aircraft for license production by AB Svenska Jarnvagsverkstaderna (ASJA) of Linkoping. The 8A-1 was generally similar to the fixed-undercarriage A-17, but Sweden opted for the Bristol Mercury as the powerplant, since this engine was already being built under license in Sweden by SFA.

The prototype (company number 378) was powered by a 875 hp Bristol Pegasus XII engine since this engine was generally similar to the Bristol Mercury engine planned for the production version. It was shipped to Sweden on April 22, 1938. The Swedish Flygvapnet designated the aircraft B 5A and assigned it the serial number of 7001. Parts for the second aircraft (company number 410) were shipped on August 8, 1938.

The production version built by ASJA was known as B 5B by the Flygvapnet, and was powered by a 920 hp SFA-built Bristol Mercury XXIV nine-cylinder air-cooled radial. It different from the Northrop-built B 5A in having a domed canopy over the pilot's cockpit and having the radio mast moved from the top of the cockpit canopy to a position just forward of the front canopy. The 64 ASJA-built B 5Bs were delivered in 1940, and were assigned Flygvapnet serials 7002 to 7065.

In 1941, ASJA was succeeded by Svenska Aeroplan AB, or SAAB. SAAB was given a contract for 39 similar B 5Cs (serials 7066 to 7104).

Douglas DB-8A for Sweden

B 5s equipped Flottiljer F 4 at Ostersund and F 12 at Kalmar until replaced beginning in

1944 by the Swedish-built SAAB B 17 light bomber.

Specification of DB-8A (SAAB B 5C):

Engine: One 980 hp SFA-built Bristol Mercury XXIV nine-cylinder air-cooled radial. Performance: Maximum speed 205 mph at sea level, 219 mph at 6250 feet. Cruising speed

186 mph. Landing speed 66 mph. Initial climb rate 1430 feet per minute. An altitude of

9845 feet could be attained in 8 minutes. Service ceiling 22,475 feet, Normal range 932

miles, Maximum range 1380 miles. Dimensions: Wingspan 47 feet 9 inches, Length 31 feet 9 7/8 inches, Height 12 feet 4 inches, Wing area 363.2 square feet. Weights: 5368 pounds empty, 7496 pounds loaded. Armament: Four wing-mounted 0.30-inch machine guns, plus one flexible 0.30-inch machine gun operated by rear cockpit gunner. Normal bomb load was typically 20 internally-carried 30-lb bombs and four external 100-lb bombs. Maximum bomb load was 1200 pounds.

Sources:

1. American Combat Planes, Third Enlarged Edition, Ray Wagner, Doubleday, 1982.

2. McDonnell Douglas Aircraft Since 1920, Volume I, Rene J. Francillon, Naval Institue Press, 1988.

3. United States Military Aircraft Since 1909, Gordon Swanborough and Peter M. Bowers, Smithsonian, 1989.

4. Northrop's Connection--The Unsung A-17 Attack Aircraft and its Legacy, Part 2, Alain J. Pelletier, Air Enthusiast, September/October 1998, No. 77.

Pelletier, Air Enthusiast, September/October 1998, No. 77. http://home.att.net/~jbaugher4/a17_4.html (2 of 2)08-09-2006

Douglas 8A-2 for Argentina

Douglas 8A-2 for Argentina

Last revised July 8, 2000

The Douglas Model 8A-2 was an export version of the fixed-undercarriage A-17 intended

for the Fuerza Aerea Argentina. Test pilot Eddie Allen had demonstrated the Northrop Model 5B in Buenos Aires in 1935, and 30 Model 8A-2s were ordered. They were built

and

shipped to Argentina in 1938.

The

Model 8A-2 was powered by the 840 hp Wright R-1820-G3 radial, and was armed

with two 12.7 and two 7.6-mm wing-mounted machine guns and one flexible rear-firing 7.6-mm machine gun. The Model 8A-2 was fitted with a partially-retractable bomb- aiming tub underneath the rear cockpit. Company numbers were 348 to 377. FAA serials were A-401 throu A-430 (later O-401 through O-430).

The Model 8A-2s were operated by the Fuerza Aerea Argentina's Regimiento de Ataque

No 2, first from El Palomar and then from El Plumerillo. The Model 8A-2s were eventually replaced by the indigenous I.Ae.24 Calquin twin-engined bomber. Surviving examples were transferred to El Palomar, near Buenos Aires, where they were operated as advanced trainers until 1955.

Specification of Douglas DB-8A-2:

Engine: One 840 hp Wright R-1820-G3 air-cooled radial. Performance: Maximum speed 223 mph at 8700 feet. Cruising speed 200 mph. Landing speed 65 mph. Initial climb rate 1300 feet per minute. Service ceiling 25,400 feet. Maximum range 1190 miles.

Dimensions: Wingspan 47 feet 9 inches, Length 31 feet 6 inches, Height 12 feet 4 inches, Wing area 363 square feet. Weights: 4899 pounds empty, 7500 pounds loaded. Armament:

Two 12.7 and two 7.6-mm wing-mounted machine guns and one flexible rear-firing 7.6-

mm machine gun. Normal bomb load was 20 internally-carried 30-pound fragmentation bombs and four external 100-pound bombs. Maxim bombload was 1200 pounds.

Sources:

Douglas 8A-2 for Argentina

1. American Combat Planes, Third Enlarged Edition, Ray Wagner, Doubleday, 1982.

2. McDonnell Douglas Aircraft Since 1920, Volume I, Rene J. Francillon, Naval Institue Press, 1988.

3. United States Military Aircraft Since 1909, Gordon Swanborough and Peter M. Bowers, Smithsonian, 1989.

4. Northrop's Connection--The Unsung A-17 Attack Aircraft and its Legacy, Part 2, Alain J. Pelletier, Air Enthusiast, September/October 1998, No. 77.

Pelletier, Air Enthusiast, September/October 1998, No. 77. http://home.att.net/~jbaugher4/a17_5.html (2 of 2)08-09-2006

Douglas 8A-3P for Peru

Douglas 8A-3P for Peru

Last revised July 8, 2000

The Model 8A-3P was an export version of the A-17A for the Cuerpo de Aeronautical del Peru. The Model 8A-3P differed from the USAAC A-17A in being powered by a 1000-hp Wright GR-1820-G103 radial, and was fitted with the partially- retractable bomb-aiming tub that was carried by the Argentine Model 8A-2s.

A total of ten Model 8A-3Ps were built (company numbers 412 to 421). They served with the 31st Escuadron de Ataque y Reconicimemiento. These planes were used during the July 1941 war between Peru and Ecuador. The last Model 8A-3P was finally retired during the late 1950s.

Specification of Douglas DB-8A-3P:

Engine: One 1000-hp Wright GR-1820-G103 air-cooled radial. Performance: Maximum speed 238 mph at 8700 feet, 208 mph at sea level. Landing speed 66 mph. Initial climb rate 1200 feet per minute, Service ceiling 24,000 feet, Maximum range 1180 miles. Dimensions: Wingspan 47 feet 9 inches, Length 32 feet 1 inches, Height 9 feet 9 inches, Wing area 363 square feet. Weights: 4820 pounds empty, 7500 pounds loaded. Armament:

Four wing-mounted 0.30-inch machine guns, plus one flexible 0.30-inch machine gun operated by rear cockpit gunner. Normal bomb load included 20 internally-carried 30- pound fragmentation bombs and four externally-carried 100-pound bombs. Maximum bomb load was 1200 pounds.

Sources:

1. American Combat Planes, Third Enlarged Edition, Ray Wagner, Doubleday, 1982.

2. United States Military Aircraft Since 1909, Gordon Swanborough and Peter M. Bowers, Smithsonian, 1989.

3. McDonnell Douglas Aircraft Since 1920, Volume I, Rene J. Francillon, Naval

Douglas 8A-3P for Peru

Institute Press, 1988.

4. Northrop's Connection--The Unsung A-17 Attack Aircraft and its Legacy, Part 2, Alain J. Pelletier, Air Enthusiast, September/October 1998, No. 77.

Pelletier, Air Enthusiast, September/October 1998, No. 77. http://home.att.net/~jbaugher4/a17_6.html (2 of 2)08-09-2006

Douglas 8A-3N for the Netherlands

Douglas 8A-3N for the Netherlands

Last revised July 8, 2000

The Douglas Model 8A-3N was a version of the A-17A built for the Netherlands. It was powered by a 1100 hp Pratt & Whitney Twin Wasp S3C-G. The first example flew on July 31, 1939. A total of 18 were ordered in early 1939. They were delivered between August and November of 1939.

The Model 8A-3Ns bore the company numbers 531/548 and were given the Dutch serial numbers 381/396. They were assigned to the 3rd Fighter Squadron of the 2nd Air Regiment based at Ypenburg. One Model 8A-3N was lost in a prewar accident. On May 10, 1940, when German forces began their Western offensive, twelve DB-8A-3N aircraft were on active duty at Ypenburg, and five were held in reserve at Ockenburg. One of the DB-8A-3Ns was destroyed on the ground during the initial Luftwaffe attack, but the eleven other aircraft were able to get into the air. The DB-8A-3N was not intended as a fighter, and seven of them were quickly shot down by Luftwaffe Bf 110s. However, the Dutch DB-8A-3Ns did manage to shoot down a couple of Ju 52 troop transports. Shortly after landing, the remaining four DB-8A-3Ns were caught on the ground in another German raid and were all destroyed.

The five DB-8A-3Ns in reserve at Ockenburg were captured intact by the Luftwaffe. In

1941 one of the captured planes was put on display in Berlin next to the DO-X. However,

later in the war, this plane was destroyed during an Allied air attack.

Specification of Douglas DB-8A-3N:

Engine: One Pratt & Whitney R-1830-S3CG Twin Wasp air-cooled radial engine, rated at

1050 hp for takeoff and 900 hp at 12,000 feet. Performance: Maximum speed 260 mph at

12,000 feet. Cruising speed 205 mph. Landing speed 66 mph. Initial climb rate 1430 feet per minute. Service ceiling 29,600 feet, Normal range 910 miles. Dimensions: Wingspan 47 feet 9 inches, Length 32 feet 5 inches, Height 9 feet 9 inches, Wing area 363 square feet. Weights: 5508 pounds empty, 7848 pounds gross, 8948 pounds maximum. Armament: Four wing-mounted 0.30-inch machine guns, plus one flexible 0.30-inch

Douglas 8A-3N for the Netherlands

machine gun operated by rear cockpit gunner. Normal bomb load included 20 internally- carried 30-lb bombs and four external 100-lb bombs. Maximum bomb load 1200 pounds.

Sources:

1. American Combat Planes, Third Enlarged Edition, Ray Wagner, Doubleday, 1982.

2. McDonnell Douglas Aircraft Since 1920, Volume I, Rene J. Francillon, Naval Institue Press, 1988.

3. United States Military Aircraft Since 1909, Gordon Swanborough and Peter M. Bowers, Smithsonian, 1989.

4. Northrop's Connection--The Unsung A-17 Attack Aircraft and its Legacy, Part 2, Alain J. Pelletier, Air Enthusiast, September/October 1998, No. 77

5. E-mail from Peter de Lange

1998, No. 77 5. E-mail from Peter de Lange http://home.att.net/~jbaugher4/a17_7.html (2 of 2)08-09-2006

Douglas 8A-4 for Iraq

Douglas 8A-4 for Iraq

Last revised July 1, 2000

The Model 8A-4 was a version of the A-17A built for the government of Iraq. The 8A-4 was quite similar to the 8A-3P ordered by Peru (including the use of the semi-retractable bomb-aiming tub) and was powered by the 1000 hp Wright GR-1820-G103 Cyclone engine. The company numbers of the fifteen 8A-4s ordered were 613/627. They were shipped to Iraq between April and June of 1940.

All DB-8A-4s were apparently destroyed by the Royal Air Force during the Iraqi uprising which began on May 2, 1941 under Rashid Ali.

Sources:

1. McDonnell Douglas Aircraft Since 1920, Volume I, Rene J. Francillon, Naval Institue Press, 1988.

2. Northrop's Connection--The Unsung A-17 Attack Aircraft and its Legacy, Part 2, Alain J. Pelletier, Air Enthusiast, September/October 1998, No. 77

J. Pelletier, Air Enthusiast, September/October 1998, No. 77 http://home.att.net/~jbaugher4/a17_8.html08-09-2006 20:08:47

Douglas 8A-5 for Norway, A-33

Douglas 8A-5 for Norway, A-33

Last revised July 8, 2000

The Model 8A-5 was the last export variant of the A-17A to be built. It was also the most powerful and the most heavily-armed of the entire series of Northrop/Douglas single engined attack bombers.

36 DB-8A-5N aircraft were ordered by Norway early in 1940. They were armed with four

wing-mounted 0.30-inch machine guns, one 0.50-inch machine gun in each of two underwing pods just outboard of the main landing gear, and had two flexible 0.30-inch machine guns in the rear cockpit. The engine was the 1200 hp Wright GR-1820-G205A. Up to 1800 pounds of bombs could be carried. RnoAF serials assigned were 301/336.

The Model 8A-5s were intended to be used by the Norwegian Heerens Flyvevaben (Army Flying Service). Unfortunately, before they could be delivered, Norway was occupied by German forces. Nevertheless, the 36 DB-8A-5s (company numbers 715/750) were completed and turned over in late 1940 to the Norwegian government-in-exile which was operating a flight training facility known as "Little Norway" at Island Airport in Ontario, Canada.

Arrangements were later made for the flight training of Norwegian pilots to be carried out in RAF and RCAF schools, and the Model 8A-5s were declared surplus to Norwegian requirements. In August of 1941, Peru offered to purchase 18 of the surviving Norwegian planes, but the US State Department objected because of fears that they might be used against Ecuador. It was proposed that these planes would be delivered instead to the Soviet Union under Lend-Lease, but both Peru and Norway objected. Consequently, these

18 Model 8A-5s were taken over by the USAAF on December 9, 1941 under the

designation of A-33-DE. They were assigned the serials 42-13584/13601. They were operated strictly as trainers at stateside airfields and none ever saw any combat.

Eventually, 13 of the surviving Norwegian aircraft were delivered to Peru. USAAF designation of A-33A and serials 42-109007/109019 were assigned for record-keeping purposes. They were delivered to Peru in June of 1943. They supplemented the Douglas

Douglas 8A-5 for Norway, A-33

8A-3Ps already serving in Peru. They served with the 31st and then the 23rd Escuadron de Ataque y Reconicimiento de Fotogrametria at Las Palmas. They lasted in service until 1958, when they started to bve replaced by Douglas B-26 Invaders. One of these aircraft is still on display as a gate guard at Las Palmas.

Specification of Douglas DB-8A-5 (A-33)

Engine: One Wright GR-1820-G205A Cyclone air-cooled radial, rated at 1200 hp for takeoff and 1000 hp at 6900 feet. Performance: Maximum speed 248 mph at 15,700 feet. Landing speed 67 mph. An altitude of 10,000 feet could be reached in 5.8 minutes. Service ceiling 29,000 feet, Dimensions: Wingspan 47 feet 9 inches, Length 32 feet 6 inches, Height 9 feet 4 inches, Wing area 363 square feet. Weights: 5510 pounds empty, 8600 pounds loaded, 9200 pounds maximum. Armament: Four wing-mounted 0.30-inch machine guns, plus two underwing-mounted 0.50-inch machine guns, plus two paired flexible 0.30-inch machine guns operated by the rear cockpit gunner. Up to 1800 pounds of bombs could be carried.

Sources:

1. American Combat Planes, Third Enlarged Edition, Ray Wagner, Doubleday, 1982.

2. McDonnell Douglas Aircraft Since 1920, Volume I, Rene J. Francillon, Naval Institue Press, 1988.

3. United States Military Aircraft Since 1909, Gordon Swanborough and Peter M. Bowers, Smithsonian, 1989.

4. Northrop's Connection--The Unsung A-17 Attack Aircraft and its Legacy, Part 2, Alain J. Pelletier, Air Enthusiast, September/October 1998, No. 77

J. Pelletier, Air Enthusiast, September/October 1998, No. 77 http://home.att.net/~jbaugher4/a17_9.html (2 of 2)08-09-2006

Curtiss Y1A-18

Curtiss Y1A-18

Last revised July 11, 2000

In 1934, the Curtiss company began work on a two-seat, twin-engined attack aircraft. The aircraft was known as Model 76 by the company. It was a twin-engined aircraft with a cantilever mid-mounted wing. The aircraft was of all-metal construction but with fabric covering for the moveable control surfaces and on the wing aft of the front spar. The pilot sat well forward underneath a sliding canopy, whereas the observer/gunner sat well to the rear underneath his own sliding canopy.

All three undercarriage members retracted rearward, leaving half of each wheel exposed. The Model 76 was powered by a pair of Wright R-1670-5 twin-row radial air-cooled engines housed underneath circular cowlings and driving twin-bladed two-position propellers.

The short nose had four 0.30-inch machine guns, and a single flexible 0.30-inch machine gun in the rear cockpit. Bombs were carried internally in a fuselage bomb bay.

The aircraft took off on its first flight on July 17, 1935. Since it was a company-owned demonstrator, the Model 76 carried a civil registration of X15314. It was tested by the Army at Wright Field in Ohio, and then returned to Curtiss for modifications. These modifications included a change in engine cowling shape and the installation of new constant-speed propellers. In December of 1935, the Army purchased the Model 76 under the designation XA-14. The serial number was 36-146.

Although the maximum speed of 254 mph made the XA-14 ten mph faster than the contemporary Consolidated P-30 two-seat fighter and 20 mph faster than the Boeing P- 26A single-seat fighter, the Army was reluctant to enter into any large-scale contract for the A-14 because of its high cost. In depression-ridden America, the $90,000 (without engines) pricetag on each A-14 made it much too expensive for a large scale order. Nevertheless, thirteen service test examples were ordered on July 23, 1936. They were powered by single-row Wright R-1820-47 Cyclones driving three-bladed propellers. As was typical in those days, the change of engine resulted in a change of designation, to

Curtiss Y1A-18

Y1A-18. Despited the added power, increased weight cut the top speed of the Y1A-18 to 238 mph, although the range was improved.

Deliveries of the Y1A-18 began in July 1937 and were completed by October. The Y1A- 18s served initially with the 8th Attack Squadron of the Third Attack Group at Barksdale Field, Louisiana. The chief drawback of the Y1A-18 was its small bomb load (only 670 pounds), plus the fact that the aircraft could not easily be reconfigured for less range with a higher load. The armament was fairly light, the Y1A-18 relying on speed rather than armament to evade interceptors. However, the advances in aircraft design were so rapid that the Y1A-18 rapidly became obsolescent and its performance no longer adequate to escape interception. In 1940, the Y1A-18s were transferred to the Third Bombardment Group at Lawson Field for operational training as plain A-18s. They saw no combat, and the last A-18 was withdrawn from service in 1943.

An improved Model 76B with Pratt & Whitney R-1830 engines was proposed to the Army, but was not accepted. Curtiss also proposed a Model 76B for export, but no customers materialized, probably because of its high cost.

Serials of Curtiss Y1A-18

37-052/064

Curtiss Y1A-18 c/n 12187/12199

Specification of Curtiss Y1A-18:

Engines: Two Wright R-1820-47 Cyclone air-cooled radials, each rated at 930 hp for takeoff and 850 hp at 2500 feet. Performance: Maximum speed 239 mph at 2500 feet. Cruising speed 211 mph. Landing speed 73 mph. Service ceiling 28,560 feet, absolute ceiling 30,000 feet. An altitude of 5000 feet could be attained in 2.2. minutes. Range 1443 miles with 654 pounds of bombs. 1700 miles maximum range. Dimensions: Wingspan 54 feet 5 inches, length 41 feet 0 inches, height 11 feet 6 inches, wing area 526 square feet. Weights: 9580 pounds empty, 12,849 pounds gross, 13,170 pounds maximum. Armament:

Four fixed 0.30-inch forward-firing machine guns in the nose, plus one flexible 0.30-inch machine gun in the rear cockpit. A maximum internal bomb load of 654 pounds could be carried.

Sources:

Curtiss Y1A-18

1. American Combat Planes, Third Enlarged Edition, Ray Wagner, Doubleday, 1982.

2. Curtiss Aircraft, 1907-1947, Peter M. Bowers, Naval Institute Press, 1979.

3. Grind 'em Out Ground Attack--The Search for the Elusive Fighter Bomber, Anson McCullough, Wings, August 1995.

4. United States Military Aircraft Since 1909, Gordon Swanborough and Peter M. Bowers, Smithsonian, 1989.

Gordon Swanborough and Peter M. Bowers, Smithsonian, 1989. http://home.att.net/~jbaugher4/a18.html (3 of 3)08-09-2006

Vultee XA-19

Vultee XA-19

Last revised July 1, 2000

The Vultee Aircraft Corporation was very largely the brainchild of Gerard Freebairn Vultee, formerly chief engineer at Lockheed Aircraft Corporation during the period that Lockheed was owned by the Detroit Aircraft holding company. When Detroit Aircraft went into receivership, Vultee was out of work. He drifted from job to job for a couple of years, but eventually he went off on his own in pursuit of financial backing for some ideas that he and Vance Breese had for a single-engine passenger monoplane while they were at Detroit.

Vultee's passenger aircraft proposal attracted the attention of the "boy wonder" of Wall Street, Errett Lobban Cord, who already owned or controlled several airlines, automobile manufacturers, and aircraft companies. With $50,000 in cash (sounds like small potatoes today :-) ), Cord founded the Airplane Development Corporation (ADC) on January 26, 1932, as a subsidiary of the Cord Corporation. Vultee was established as chief engineer of this new company, assisted by Richard W. Palmer. Vultee was initially given space in Cord's private hangar at United Airport in Burbank, California, but in June ADC took over the former Century Pacific hanger at Grand Central Air Terminal in nearby Glendale.

Vultee began work on his single-engined airliner project in April of 1932. The project was assigned the designation V1. The V1 was a monocoque low-winged monoplane with "Alclad" sheet metal riveted to an aluminum alloy oval fuselage frame and a two-spar wing box. Only the rudder and elevators were fabric covered. There was accommodation for eight passengers in four rows in the cabin. A forward-sloping windshield (adopted so as to prevent glare at night) enclosed the single-pilot cockpit. Half of the cockpit space was occupied by a mail compartment. The main undercarriage retracted inward into wells in the center section of the wing. The powerplant was the 650 hp Wright SR-1820-F2 nine- cylinder air cooled radial.

The first flight took place on February 19, 1933. At the time of its appearance, the V1 could truthfully be advertised as the world's fastest airliner. However, its future was somewhat uncertain, since labor troubles had in the meantime forced Cord to divest

Vultee XA-19

himself of his two airlines, depriving the V1 of any built-in customers.

A copilot's position had to be added to the V1 because of safety considerations. To make space for the second crewmember, the mail compartment was moved aft of the passenger cabin. The roof line was raised and the shape of the vertical tail was modified. The wingspan was increased by two feet, the length from 35 feet 6 inches to 37 feet, the wheel track by two feet, and the height by six inches. The original three-bladed Hamilton Standard propeller was replaced by a two-bladed unit. Electrically-operated split trailing- edge flaps were installed. The changes were sufficient to result in a redesignation to V1-A.

The V1-A still lacked a ready customer. However, in 1934, the ADC was reorganized as a division of the Aviation Manufacturing Corporation, which was in turn a subsidiary of the Aviation Corporation (AVCO), which had recently been taken over by Cord in a stock deal. Vultee became a vice-president of the ADC, but retained his title as chief engineer. As it turned out, AVCO also controlled American Airways, which provided Vultee with a ready-made customer for the V1. American Airways placed a tentative order for 20 V1s in two batches of ten at a price of $35,000 each.

Work began on the first batch of ten V1-A airliners for American Airways in February of 1934. Two months later, AVCO lost control of American Airways, which changed its name to American Airlines (a name which it still retains today). However, the V1-A order stood. In July, American Airlines introduced the V1-A on its Fort Worth-Chicago route. The V1-A was fast, comfortable, and popular with passengers, but was too small to be an economically-viable aircraft.

On October 1, 1934, the Director of Air Commerce issued an order that single-engined aircraft would no longer be allowed to be operated by scheduled airlines except during daylight hours. This decision instantly dried up the airline market for the Vultee V1-A, but a few more were built as executive transports and several were used for record-setting flights. A few V1-As ended up in Spain during the Civil War, and actually ended up serving on both sides in that conflict.

With the advent of restrictions placed on single-engined commercial airliners in late 1934, Vultee turned to military aircraft. The company attempted to develop an attack bomber based on the V1 airliner. Designated V11, it used the wing, undercarriage, and tail surfaces of the V1 airliner joined to a new fuselage. The V11 prototype was powered by a 750 hp Wright SR-1820-F53 Cyclone air cooled radial driving a two-bladed Hamilton

Vultee XA-19

Standard controllable-pitch propeller. The V11 featured two seats in tandem underneath a long transparent, four-section canopy that covered both cockpits. Armament consisted of two wing-mounted 0.30-inch machine guns, plus a flexible 0.30-inch machine gun operated by the rear cockpit gunner. The forward firing guns were sighted by the pilot using a pylon-mounted telescopic sight. Up to 1100 pounds of bombs could be carried internally and externally.

The first V11 (msn 28, civilian registry X14999) took off on its maiden flight on September 17, 1935. Unfortunately, the V11 crashed on takeoff on its second flight at Mines Field, Los Angeles the next day, killing pilot T. C. Van Stone and project engineer Duald L. Blue.

A second prototype (msn 29, civilian registry NR14980) took to the air on October 9, 1935. Designated V11-A, it differed from the first in having a three-bladed constant speed propeller and a ring and bead sight for the forward-firing guns.

The Chinese Nationalist government showed interest in the V11-A, and an order for 30 was placed. The first (msn 30) was completed in December of 1936 with an SR-1820-F53 engine. The rest (msn 36/64) were shipped between July 1973 and April 1938. They were delivered to China without engines and the later batches were actually delivered as kits of parts which were assembled at Shanghai and Hangkow. The 850 hp R-1820-G2 engines for these planes were acquired separately, and when installed, resulted in a designation change to V11-G.

The demands of the Chinese order forced Vultee to seek larger quarters. In June of 1936, the ADC moved its Glendale plant to Downey, California. The Downey facility had formerly been operated by the now-defunct Emsco Aircraft company (where Gerard Vultee had once briefly worked), but was now deserted. The paved runway was renamed Vultee Field.

The Chinese V11-G attack planes served at Hangkow with the 14th Squadron, an international unit of American, French, and Chinese aircrews. They saw limited action against Japanese forces in 1938.

The V11-GB was a version of the V11-G intended for use as an attack bomber. It differed from the V11-G primarily by the addition of a third crew member in the lower aft fuselage. The third crew member entered the aircraft via a door cut into the rear port

Vultee XA-19

fuselage and acted as a bomb-aimer/camera operator. He could also operate a 0.30-inch machine gun which was mounted on a retractable position that extended downward from the rear fuselage. Four 0.30-inch guns were mounted in the wings, and another 0.30-inch machine gun was operated by a gunner sitting at the rear of the long transparent canopy. It could be operated as an attack plane, with 600 pounds of bombs carried on internal racks over a 1125 mile range. Alternatively, it could be operated as a bomber carrying a 1000 pound bombload over a range of 2380 miles.

Four V11-GBs were purchased by the Soviet Union, along with a manufacturing license. The first V11-GB for the USSR (msn 32, civilian registry NR17328) was flown on January 31, 1937, followed by msn 33 (NR17329) on February 26. These planes both had the 850 hp R-1820-G2 Cyclone engine. The other two (msn 34 and 36) were delivered to the Soviet Union without engines, and the first was dismantled for parts.

At least 31 V11-GBs were built in the Soviet Union as the BSh-1 at the Menzhinskii factory at Moscow. They were powered by the 920 hp M-62 radial, which was a license- built version of the Wright Cyclone. With armor plate fitted, the aircraft had a reduced performance and was rejected for service by the VVS. It was decided that that the Polikarpov I-15bis would make a better interim attack aircraft while awaiting the development of the BSh-2, the prototype of the famed Il-2 *Shturmovik*. Most of the BSh-1 aircraft were turned over to Aeroflot in 1939 under the designation PS-43 and were used on mail flights. After the German attack on the Soviet Union in June of 1941, they were returned to the VVS for communications duties. A few survived until after the war. I do not know if any survive today.

One V11-GB (msn 31/NR17327) was completed as a European demonstrator on January 20, 1937. It was scheduled to go to Europe in an attempt to attract more customers, but was used instead for experimental flying in connection with an order for forty V11-GBTs (msn 65/104) from Turkey. These were delivered between September 1937 and April 1938 to the 2nd Regiment at Diyarbakir. It seems that the demonstrator aircraft went to Turkey as well.

In November of 1937, the Downey plant was renamed the Vultee Aircraft Division of the Aviation Manufacturing Corporation. The Downey plant now finally carried Gerard Vultee's name.

On January 24, 1938, Gerard Vultee and his wife were killed in a crash of their Stinson

Vultee XA-19

Reliant on the slopes of Mt Wilson near Flagstaff, Arizona. The couple left behind a six- month old son. They were returning from a sales trip to the East Coast, where Vultee had attempted to interest the US Army Air Corps in the V11-GB. Vultee was succeeded as chief engineer by his assistant, Richard Palmer. The Vultee Aircraft Division retained its name.

Following the death of Gerard Vultee, work on the V11 continued on, and more overseas customers were attracted. 26 V11-GB2 aircraft were built for Brazil (msn 105/130). These were completed between June 1938 and March 1939. The last example was fitted with Edo floats and a modified tail as a V11-GB2F, but was not accepted by the Brazilian navy.

The last customer for the V11 was paradoxically the US Army Air Corps, to which Gerard Vultee had been attempting to sell when he was killed. On June 24, 1938, the US Army Air Corps ordered seven V11-GBs (USAAC serials 38-549/555, msn 132/138) as service test aircraft. They were designated YA-19 and, unlike the export versions, were powered by 1200 hp Pratt & Whitney R-1830-17 Twin Wasp radials. The armament consisted of six 0.30-inch machine guns and a 1080-pound bombload. The first YA-19 was flown on January 27, 1939. Five more were delivered in June and July.

The YA-19s initially served at March Field, California, and then were transferred to the Panama Canal Zone, where they served with military attaches on duty in neighboring countries. The concept of a single-engined attack bomber was, however, now thoroughly obsolete, and no further YA-19s were ordered by the Air Corps. None of the YA-19s ever saw any combat.

The last YA-19 on the Air Corps order was delivered as XA-19A with a twelve-cylinder Lycoming O-1230-1 liquid-cooled engined offering 1200 hp. It had an enlarged vertical fin to balance out the longer engine. It first flew on May 22, 1940. This aircraft was subsequently re-engined with a Pratt & Whitney R-1830-51 and redesignated XA-19C.

The second YA-19 was redesignated XA-19B and was assigned to Pratt & Whitney for engine development work. It was equipped with an 1800 hp R-2800-1 at Rentschler Field

Specification of Vultee YA-19:

Engine: One Pratt & Whitney R-1830-17 air-cooled radial, rated at 1200 hp for takeoff and 1050 hp at 6500 feet. Performance: Maximum speed 230 mph at 6500 feet. Cruising

Vultee XA-19

speed 207 mph. Landing speed 80 mph. Initial climb rate 1320 feet per minute. Service ceiling 20,400 feet, absolute ceiling 22,100 feet. Range 1110 miles with 1080 pounds of bombs, maximum range 1385 miles. Dimensions: Wingspan 50 feet 0 inches, length 37 feet 10 inches, height 10 feet 0 inches, wing area 384 square feet. Weights: 6452 pounds empty, 10,421 pounds gross. Armament. Four 0.30-inch machine guns in the wings. One flexible 0.30-inch machine gun in rear cockpit. One 0.30-inch machine in retractable ventral position. Up to 36 30-pound bombs internally and a 1100-lb external bombload.

Sources:

1. American Combat Planes, Third Enlarged Edition, Ray Wagner, Doubleday, 1982.

2. General Dynamics Aircraft and Their Predecessors, John Wegg, Naval Institute Press, 1990.

3. United States Military Aircraft Since 1909, Gordon Swanborough and Peter M. Bowers, Smithsonian, 1989.

4. Convair B-58 Hustler: The World's First Supersonic Bomber, Jay Miller, Aerofax,

World's First Supersonic Bomber, Jay Miller, Aerofax, 1997. http://home.att.net/~jbaugher4/a19.html (6 of

1997.

Stearman XA-21

Stearman XA-21

Last revised August 20, 2000

In 1929, the United Aircraft and Transport Corporation was formed with headquarters at Hartford, Connecticut as a large holding company that controlled the stock of the Boeing Airplane Company of Seattle, its Canadian subsidiary based in Vancouver B.C., the Boeing Air Transport airline subsidiary of Boeing, as well as the Chance Vought Corporation, the Hamilton Aero Manufacturing Company (a propeller manufacturer) and the Pratt & Whitney Aircraft Company, the well known engine manufacturer. In an arrangement that would be considered as being grossly non-competitive today, one holding company now controlled airlines, engine and airframe manufacturers, as well as propeller suppliers. Sikorsky Aviation Corporation, the Stearman Aircraft Company of Wichita, Kansas, and the Standard Steel Propeller Company were added to United's empire shortly thereafter, followed by several more airlines brought into the fold. The airline interests were soon grouped under a new management company known as United Air Lines, Inc. However, the individual airlines (as well as the individual companies held by United) continued to operate under their own names.

In the 1930s, the US government concluded that such large holding companies as the United Aircraft and Transport Corporation were basically anti-competitive, and new laws were passed forbidding airframe or engine manufacturers from having interests in airlines. The United Aircraft and Transport Corporation was broken up into several pieces, with Pratt & Whitney, Sikorsky, Vought and the now-merged Hamilton Standard Propeller Company being organized into a new United Aircraft Corporation, and the airlines going to the newly-organized United Air Lines Transport Corporation. The Boeing Airplane Company again became an independent organization, with the Stearman company as a subsidiary.

For the next few years, Stearman operated as a more-or-less independent company, and introduced the famous Model 75 series of two-seat trainers. On April 8, 1939, the Stearman plant at Wichita, Kansas was officially made a division of Boeing, and the Stearman name disappeared. However, the original Stearman model designations and serial numbering systems were retained.

Stearman XA-21

In 1937, the Army's Materiel Division began to investigate the possibility of the development of a twin-engined attack bomber with a performance that would greatly exceed that of the single-engined types such as the Northrop A-17 that were currently in service. In March 1938, the Air Corps issued Circular Proposal Number 38-385 that defined the requirements. Payload was to be 1200 pounds, and range was to be 1200 miles at speeds greater than 200 mph. The Army invited all of the contestants to build prototypes of their designs at their own expense for a design competition. The deadline for the entries would be March 17, 1939.

Proposals were submitted by Bell, Douglas, Martin, North American, and Boeing- Stearman. Bell's Model 9 proposal called for an aircraft powered by two liquid-cooled Allison engines. It was withdrawn from the competition before anything could be built. The Douglas entry was the Model 7B, a high-winged monoplane powered by a pair of 1100 hp Pratt & Whitney R-1830 Twin Wasp radials. Martin submitted its Model 167F, a twin-engined mid-wing monoplane. The North American entry was designated NA-40 by the company and was a high-winged aircraft carrying a crew of five--pilot, copilot, bombardier/navigator, radio operator/gunner, and gunner.

Stearman's entry in the competition was designated Model X-100. It was a three-seat high- winged monoplane powered by a pair of untried Pratt & Whitney R-2180 radials. The X-

100 was the first twin-engined design built by Stearman, and was the first all-metal

aircraft and the first monoplane to be produced by the company. The Stearman company had begun work on the X-100 in 1938, and the project was completed after the company officially became a division of Boeing.

The normal crew of the Model X-100 was three--a bombardier, a pilot, and a radio operator/gunner. The bombardier and pilot sat in tandem underneath a transparent canopy in a smooth contour nose. The radio operator/gunner sat in a separate transparent cabin at the rear of the fuselage and controlled manually-operated turrets in the dorsal and ventral positions. The rear gunner could operate four 0.30-inch machine guns--one in a manual

dorsal turret, one mounted on each side firing from a flexible socket, and one fitted inside a ball-shaped flexible socket mounted on the bottom of the fuselage. Provision was made for a fourth crew member to assist in operating the defensive machine guns. The Model X-

100 incorporated an electrically-actuated retractable undercarriage, integral fuel tanks,

fully-feathering constant-speed propellers, and sealed compartments in the outer wing panels, central fuselage, and empennage for flotation in case of a forced landing on water. The mainwheels retracted rearward into wells in the rear of the engine nacelles, and the

Stearman XA-21

tailwheel was retractable as well. The wing trailing edge carried Fowler-type flaps both inboard and outboard of the engine nacelles. The engine was the new and untried Pratt & Whitney R-2180-S1A1-G radial, rated at 1150 hp at 2350 rpm, but capable of delivering 1400 hp at 2500 rpm for takeoff.

In the interest of aerodynamic streamlining, the original nose contour of the X-100 formed an unbroken line with the top of the fuselage, forcing the pilot to have to look forward through the bombardier's station. In search of a better forward view for the pilot, the nose was modified during the flight test phase to the standard step-down windshield configuration used by most contemporary bombers and transports.

Both the North American and the Douglas designs crashed before they could be entered in the contest, leaving only the Stearman and Martin entries actually submitted to the Army for flight testing. However, none of the entries succeeded in landing any Army contracts. Instead, the Army waffled and in April of 1939 they called for a new contest in which a new set of design proposals would be requested and evaluated without the need for the construction and testing of prototypes. All of the original contestants, including Boeing- Stearman, submitted new bids in response to this new contest. On June 30, 1939, the Army decided in favor of the Douglas DB-7, which was a revised version of the Model 7B that had crashed during flight test. 123 examples were ordered under the designation A-20.

Although no production was anticipated, the Army did purchase the X-100 prototype under the designation XA-21. The serial number was 40-191. The aircraft was delivered to the Army in September of 1939. The Army carried out some tests with the aircraft, but no further development was pursued. I am unaware of the ultimate fate of the XA-21. Presumably it was scrapped.

The other two unsuccessful contestants in the attack bomber competition did not share the same unhappy fate as the XA-21. Although the US Army only bought one example of the Martin 167 (under the designation XA-22), the aircraft succeeded in landing substantial export contracts with France and later served with the Royal Air Force under the name Maryland. Although the Army did not even buy one example of the North American NA- 40 (it crashed during testing), the basic design was later adapted to a medium bomber configuration, evolving into the famous B-25 Mitchell.

Specification of the Boeing-Stearman XA-21:

Stearman XA-21

Engines: Two Pratt & Whitney R-2180-7 radials, each rated at 1150 hp at 2350 rpm, but capable of delivering 1400 hp at 2500 rpm for takeoff. Performance: Maximum speed 257 mph at 5100 feet. Cruising speed 200 mph. Landing speed 72 mph. Service ceiling 20,000 feet. Range 720 miles with 1200 pound bombload. Maximum range 1500 miles. Weights:

12,760 pounds empty, 18,230 pounds gross. Dimensions: Wingspan 65 feet, length 53 feet 1 inch, height 14 feet 2 inches, wing area 607 square feet. Armament: One 0.30-inch machine gun in a flexible mounting in the nose. The rear gunner could operate four 0.30- inch machine guns--one in a dorsal turrret, one on each side firing from a flexible socket, and one in a fixture on the bottom. Four forward-firing 0.3-inch machine guns could be installed in the wing. Maximum bombload 2700 pounds. Sources: Boeing Aircraft Since 1916, Peter M. Bowers, Naval Institute Press, 1989. McDonnell Douglas Aircraft Since 1920, Vol 1, Rene J. Francillon, Naval Institute Press, 1988

Sources:

1. American Combat Planes, Third Enlarged Edition, Ray Wagner, Doubleday, 1982.

2. McDonnell Douglas Aircraft Since 1920, Vol 1, Rene J. Francillon, Naval Institute Press, 1988

3. Boeing Aircraft Since 1916, Peter M. Bowers, Naval Institute Press, 1989.

Since 1916, Peter M. Bowers, Naval Institute Press, 1989. http://home.att.net/~jbaugher4/a21.html (4 of 4)08-09-2006

Martin A-22

Martin A-22

Martin A-22 Martin A-22 Martin XA-22 Martin Maryland http://home.att.net/~jbaugher4/a22.html08-09-2006 20:09:59

Martin XA-22Martin A-22 Martin A-22 Martin Maryland http://home.att.net/~jbaugher4/a22.html08-09-2006 20:09:59

Martin Martin A-22 Martin A-22 Martin XA-22 Maryland http://home.att.net/~jbaugher4/a22.html08-09-2006 20:09:59

Maryland

Martin XA-22

Martin XA-22

Last revised August 20, 2000

In 1937, the Army's Materiel Division began to investigate the possibility of the development of a twin-engined attack bomber with a performance that would greatly exceed that of the single-engined types that were currently in service. In March 1938, the Air Corps issued Circular Proposal Number 38-385 that defined the requirements. Payload was to be 1200 pounds, and range was to be 1200 miles at speeds greater than 200 mph. The Army invited all of the contestants to build prototypes of their designs at their own expense for a design competition. The deadline for the entries would be March 17, 1939.

Proposals were submitted by Bell, Douglas, North American, Boeing-Stearman and Martin. Bell's Model 9 proposal called for an aircraft powered by two liquid-cooled Allison engines. It was withdrawn from the competition before anything could be built. The Douglas entry was the Model 7B, a high-winged monoplane powered by a pair of 1100 hp Pratt & Whitney R-1830 Twin Wasp radials. The North American entry was designated NA-40 by the company and was a high-winged aircraft carrying a crew of five-- pilot, copilot, bombardier/navigator, radio operator/gunner, and gunner. Stearman's entry was the Model X-100, which was a three-seat high-winged monoplane powered by a pair of untried Pratt & Whitney R-2180 radials.

Martin submitted its Model 167, a twin-engined mid-wing tail-down monoplane. The aircraft was powered by two Pratt & Whitney R-1830-37 Wasp radials, each rated at 1200 hp for takeoff and 1100 hp at 5000 feet. The Model 167 carried three crewmembers in a narrow fuselage--one pilot, one bombardier in the nose, and a gunner that operated a retractable dorsal turret that was covered by a panel that slid forward when the turret was raised. Armament included four 0.30-inch machine guns in the wings, one 0.30-inch machine gun in the turret, and one 0.30-inch machine gun in a deeply-cut lower position behind the bomb bay. The bomb bay could accommodate 60 30-pound or four 300-pound bombs.

The Model 167 was flown from Baltimore to Wright Field in Ohio on March 14, 1939. It initially flew under the civilian serial number NX22076. Although no aircraft had yet been

Martin XA-22

ordered by the US Army, the gathering war clouds in Europe attracted the attention of the French government to the twin-engined attack aircraft contest. The French government was sufficiently impressed by the Martin entry that on January 26, 1939, the French government placed a contract for 115 aircraft. The French version was designated Model 167F by the company. The Armee de l'Air designation was 167 A-3, the A standing for army cooperation and the -3 identifying a three-seater. The availability of French money made it possible for Martin to build a new plant that was to play a valuable role in B-26 production.

None of the entries initially succeeded in landing any Army contracts. Instead, in April of 1939, the Army called for a new contest in which new design proposals would be requested and evaluated without the need for the construction and testing of prototypes. All of the contestants, including Martin, submitted new bids. On June 30, 1939, the Army decided in favor of the Douglas DB-7, which was a revised version of the Model 7B that had crashed during flight test. 123 examples were ordered under the designation A-20. Glenn L. Martin protested the production contract awarded to the Douglas DB-7 on the grounds that the Model 7B prototype had crashed and was not actually present at the competition. However, he was somewhat consoled by the French contract for the Model 167 which had been placed in January of 1939.

Although the US Army did not order the Model 167 into production, on May 20, 1939, it did arrange to purchase the prototype under the designation XA-22. The serial number was 40-706. Although a few flight tests were carried out, there was no further development.

Specification of Martin XA-22:

Engines: Two Pratt & Whitney R-1830-37 air-cooled radial engines, each rated at 1200 hp for takeoff and 1100 hp at 5000 feet. Performance: Maximum speed 280 mph at 5000 feet. Cruising speed 260 mph. Service ceiling 20,000 feet. Range 750 miles with 1800 pounds of bombs, 1200 miles with 1200 pounds of bombs. 1900 miles maximum range. Dimensions: Wingspan 61 feet 4 inches, length 46 feet 8 inches, height 10 feet 0 inches, wing area 538.5 square feet. Weights: 11,170 pounds empty, 16,00 pounds gross, 17,00 pounds maximum. Sources: Dog of War, Peter Bowers, Airpower, Vol 26, No. 1 (1996) American Combat Planes, Third Enlarged Edition, Ray Wagner, Doubleday, 1982.

Sources:

Martin XA-22

1. American Combat Planes, Third Enlarged Edition, Ray Wagner, Doubleday, 1982.

2. Dog of War, Peter Bowers, Airpower, Vol 26, No. 1 (1996)

2. Dog of War, Peter Bowers, Airpower, Vol 26, No. 1 (1996) http://home.att.net/~jbaugher4/a22_1.html (3 of 3)08-09-2006

Martin Maryland

Martin Maryland

Last revised August 20, 2000

Although the Martin Model 167 was never ordered into service by the US Army, it was to serve in substantial numbers with both the French and British air arms. On January 26, 1939, the French government placed a contract for 115 aircraft. The French version was designated Model 167F by the company. The Armee de l'Air designation was 167 A-3, the A standing for Army cooperation and the -3 identifying a three- seater.

The first 167F for France flew in August 1939. The Model 167F had French equipment installed and was armed with six 7.5-mm machine guns, four in the wings, another in the dorsal turret, and one in a deeply-cut lower position behind the bomb bay. French aircraft could carry two 624-pounds or eight 116-pound bombs and six 7.5-mm machine guns, The Model 167F differed from the XA-22 in having no cover over the turret and was powered by 900-hp Wasps supercharged to 12,000 feet. The first Model 167F flew in August of 1939. The French order was increased to 215 aircraft upon the outbreak of war in September of 1939.

According to the original plan, the Model 167F aircraft were to be delivered to depots in French North Africa where they would be prepared for operational service. The first Martins did not reach French North Africa until December 15. After the German invasion of May 10, 1940, the French Martins were thrown into action. They flew 418 combat sorties from May 22 to June 24, 18 Martins being lost in action. In the meantime, deliveries on a third contract had begun. 223 Martins had arrived in Casablanca by June 15, but only 182 had been assembled and turned over to the Armee de l'Air. After the Armistice, many surviving Martins ended up with the Vichy Air Force, but several managed to escape to England.

After the Armistice of June 1940, the British government took over the last 50 Model 167s on the French order, along with 75 built under a direct RAF contract completed in July of 1940. They were named Maryland I in RAF service. Between December 1940 and April 1941, 150 Maryland IIs were delivered to the RAF with R-1830-S3C4-G Wasps which were each rated at 1000 hp at 12,500 feet.

RAF Marylands served with a general reconnaissance unit in Malta in 1940 and in 1941 with one British and three South African light-bomber squadron in northwest Africa. The Model 167s serving with the Vichy Air Force were used to attack Allied forces in Syria in June of 1941 and American forces near Casablanca in November 1942. This makes the Model 167 yet another example of an aircraft which fought on both sides in the Second World War.

Serials of RAF Marylands:

AH205/AH279

AH280/AH429

Maryland I Maryland II Martin company number 1827/1976 AH301/311, 313/331, 371, 373/380,386/395,

Martin Maryland

AR702/AR751

406/426, 428, 429 renumbered in South African Air Force 1600/1699 allocation. Maryland I

AX689

AR702/736 accepted to American standards. AR720, 736, 740 transferred to Fleet Air Arm Martin 167 Maryland - presumed French escapee

AX690

Martin 167 Maryland - presumed French escapee

AX692

Martin 167 Maryland - presumed French escapee

AX693

Martin 167 Maryland - presumed French escapee

AX696

Martin 167 Maryland - presumed French escapee

BJ421/BJ428

Maryland I - Ex-French contract. Delivered to

Middle East

BS760/BS777

January 1941. Maryland I - Ex-French contract. BS777 to Free French forces July 1941. BS770 and BS777 converted for target towing.

Specification of Martin Model 167 (Maryland I):

Engines: Two Pratt & Whitney R-1830-SC3G air-cooled radial engines, each rated at 1050 hp for takeoff and 900 hp at 12,000 feet. Performance: Maximum speed 275 mph at sea level, 304 mph at 13,000 feet. Cruising speed 248 mph. Landing speed 71 mph. Service ceiling 29,500 feet. Initial climb rate 2000 feet per minute. Maximum range 1300 miles. Dimensions: Wingspan 61 feet 4 inches, length 46 feet 8 inches, height 10 feet 0 inches, wing area 538.5 square feet. Weights: 10,586 pounds empty, 15,927 pounds gross, 16,571 pounds maximum. Armament: Six 7.5-mm machine guns, four in the wings, another in the dorsal turret, and one in a deeply-cut lower position behind the bomb bay. Could carry two 624-pounds or eight 116-pound bombs and six 7.5-mm machine guns, Sources: Dog of War, Peter Bowers, Airpower, Vol 26, No. 1 (1996) British Military Aircraft Serials 1912-1969, Bruce Robertson, Ian Allen, 1969. American Combat Planes, Ray Wagner, Third Enlarged Edition, Doubleday, 1982.

Sources:

1. American Combat Planes, Third Enlarged Edition, Ray Wagner, Doubleday, 1982.

2. Dog of War, Peter Bowers, Airpower, Vol 26, No. 1 (1996) British Military Aircraft Serials 1912- 1969, Bruce Robertson, Ian Allen, 1969.

3. British Military Aircraft Serials 1912-1969, Bruce Robertson, Ian Allen, 1969.

Serials 1912-1969, Bruce Robertson, Ian Allen, 1969. http://home.att.net/~jbaugher4/a22_2.html (2 of 2)08-09-2006

Martin XA-23

Martin XA-23

Last revised August 20, 2000

The Model 187 was the manufacturer's name for a Glenn L. Martin Company proposal for a three-seat attack bomber powered by a pair of Wright R-3350-11 air-cooled radials. Wing span was to have been 61 feet 8 inches, and length was to have been 49 feet 0 inches. Gross weight was to have been 21,200 pounds, and estimated maximum speed was 380 mph. The Army exhibited sufficient interest in the Model 187 to order a prototype under the designation XA-23. However, the project was abandoned before anything could be built, and Martin concentrated instead on an adaptation of the basic design known as the Model 187B, which was eventually to emerge as the A-30 Baltimore.

Sources:

1. American Combat Planes, Third Enlarged Edition, Ray Wagner, Doubleday, 1982.

2. U.S. Army Aircraft, 1908-1946, James C. Fahey, Ships and Aircraft, 1946.

Aircraft, 1908-1946, James C. Fahey, Ships and Aircraft, 1946. http://home.att.net/~jbaugher4/a23.html08-09-2006 20:10:30

Curtiss A-25 Helldiver

Curtiss A-25 Helldiver

Last revised August 26, 2000

Following the success of Luftwaffe Ju 87 Stukas in the German attack on Poland in 1939 and in the offensive in the west in the spring of 1940, the US Army developed a sudden interest in dive bombers. Up to this time, the US Navy and the US Marine Corps had been the only American armed services interested in dive bombers, and had in fact done some pioneering work which had had been one of the inspirations behind the German development of the Stuka.

In pursuit of this new interest, the Army decided to acquire some Navy designs and use them with very little modification as land-based dive bombers. One of these designs was the Curtiss SB2C Helldiver, which the Army acquired under the designation A-25.

The development of the Curtiss SB2C Helldiver began back in 1938, when the US Navy laid down requirements for a new scout/dive bomber aircraft. In August of 1938, an invitation was sent out to the aircraft industry calling for a new dive bomber powered by an air-cooled radial engine. It was to be equipped with folding monoplane wings, retractable landing gear, de-icing equipment, heavy armament, and armor protection for the crew. Six companies submitted proposals, with the Curtiss and Brewster designs showing the greatest promise. They were both powered by the 1700-hp Wright R-2600 air- cooled radial. In January of 1939, Brewster and Curtiss were selected to build prototypes of their designs under the designation XSB2A-1 and XSB2C-1 respectively.

The XSB2C-1 was a monoplane with wings mounted up high enough on the fuselage to permit the installation of an internal bomb bay. The main landing gear retracted inwards, and the wing training edge had split dive flaps. The aircraft was all-metal except for fabric- covered control surfaces. The crew was two--a pilot sitting underneath a rearward-sliding canopy and a gunner sitting underneath a separate forward-sliding canopy. The rear fuselage arrangement was quite similar to that of the earlier SBC biplane dive bomber.

The XSB2C-1 prototype took to the air for the first time on December 8, 1940, Curtiss test pilot Lloyd Childs being at the controls. The prototype crashed on December 21, 1941

Curtiss A-25 Helldiver

after the wings and tail failed while trying to pull out of a dive. Fortunately, the pilot was able to parachute to safety.

On October 1, 1941, the Navy decided to give its combat aircraft names. The SB2C was assigned the name Helldiver, a name long associated with Curtiss naval dive bombers.

Following Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, the Helldiver program took on a new urgency. The first four SB2C-1s were assigned special priority so that flight testing could get underway as soon as possible. In the spring, the Navy announced that 3000 additional Helldivers would be ordered from Curtiss. In May, 1000 Helldivers were ordered from Canadian Car and Foundry at Fort William, Ontario. These were assigned the designation SBW, and 450 of them were allocated to the Royal Navy

The first production SB2C-1 was rolled out in June. It was quite similar to the XSB2C-1

with the exception of a slightly taller vertical tail. It flew for the first time on June 30,

1942.

Based on the success of German dive bombing, the US Army became interested in dive bombing as a means of ground attack, and in 1940 procurement of dive bombers was included in the Army Air Corps expansion program. Rather than develop new aircraft from scratch, the Army turned to the Navy's Douglas SBD Dauntless and Curtiss SB2C Helldiver to fill this need. In late 1940, agreement was reached for the Army to get approximately 100 SB2Cs from Curtiss under the recently-signed Navy contract. These planes were referred to as SB2C-1A for contract purposes, but were designated A-25A by the Army. The A-25A was to be standardized to the extent possible with the Navy SB2C- 1. An order for 100 A-25As was added to the Navy contract on December 31, 1940.

By the end of 1941, much larger orders for A-25As were being considered, but the Navy felt that all the production capacity of Curtiss Wright's Columbus, Ohio plant would be required to meet its needs. Consequently, the Army Air Materiel Command directed that Curtiss Wright's St Louis plant be turned over to A-25A production. By the spring, 3000 more A-25As were on order.

The A-25A was to be almost identical to the SB2C-1, but with larger main wheels and a larger pneumatic tail wheel. The carrier arrester gear was deleted, but the folding wings were to be retained. In addition, Army radios and additional forward and underside armor plating were fitted. Both the Navy and Army models had larger wheel wells to maintain

Curtiss A-25 Helldiver

standardization.

Major subcontractors and suppliers for the Navy production were retained for the A-25A in order to enhance standardization. However, there were problems involved in coordinating engineering and manufacturing between Columbus and St Louis. These snags were not eased very much by the fact that the two plants were divisions of the same company. Enough differences between the A-25A and the SB2C-1 evolved so that the A- 25A got its own model number of S84 within the Curtiss organization and its own series of drawings.

The first A-25A took off on its first flight on September 29, 1942, about three months after the initial flight of the first production SB2C-1. It had the folding wings and the wing slats of the SB2C-1. Production and testing preceded rather slowly, and the first ten production examples were not completed until March of 1943. These were destined to be the last A- 25As with folding wings. By this time, it was deemed impractical to continue the attempt to maintain standardization between the A-25A and the SB2C-1, since this was now holding up both programs. It was decided to transfer the A-25A program over to an Army contract. This transition added further to delays in the A-25A program, due to problems with inspection authority, government furnished equipment, and coordination with subcontractors.

By the time that A-25A production was underway, the Army had found that it no longer had any need for dive bombers. Army pilots had not been well trained in dive bombing techniques, and their combat experience with the A-24 (Army version of the SBD Dauntless) was less than happy. The A-24 suffered heavy losses from enemy flak, and it was fount that it could not be operated in environments in which less than complete air superiority had been established. Consequently, the A-25As that were delivered to the Army were assigned to various second-line activities such as training and target-towing, and never saw any combat. The Army initially assigned the popular name Shrike to the A- 25A, a name which had been associated with Curtiss-built Army attack planes since the A- 8/A-10 series back in the early 1930s. However, by the end of 1943, the Army adopted the Navy Helldiver name for the A-25A. By this time the Army's A-25As had been redesignated RA-25A, the R prefix standing for "Restricted", which meant that they were not to be used in combat.

Early in the A-25A program, 150 aircraft had been allocated to the Royal Australian Air Force, with RAAF serials being A69-1 through A69-150. However, the RAAF came to the

Curtiss A-25 Helldiver

same conclusion as the USAAF, namely, that it really did not need dive bombers, and only 10 (RAAF serials A69-1 through A69-10) were actually delivered.

410 A-25As (including the 140 which were originally intended for the RAAF) were eventually turned over to the US Marine Corps for use as land-based dive bombers under the designation SB2C-1A. Following a configuration review for the Marine Corps, a program was set up to send the transferred planes through modification centers operated by NAF Roosevelt Field, New York, Consolidated-Vultee, Allentown, Pennsylvania, and Delta Airlines. The SB2C-1As were then issued to Marine Corps VMSB squadrons for operational training. By the end of 1944, all the SB2C-1As had been modified and delivered. Transfer to the Navy's Operational Training Command had begun. They served with VMSB-132, -144, -234, -344, -454, -464, -474, and -484. In the autumn of 1944, the first three became VMTB squadrons and the fourth was disbanded. VMSB-454 became a VMTB squadron in the same period. The last three units were replacement training squadrons based at MCAS El Toro, California. The Navy/Marine Corps SB2C-1As were also destined for a non-combatant role, and both Army and Marine/navy land-based Helldivers were declared surplus at an early date.

Serials of A-25A:

41-18774/18783

41-18784/18823

41-18824/18873

42-79663/79672

42-79673/79732

42-79733/79972

42-79933/80132

42-80133/80462

Curtiss A-25A-1-CS Shrike Curtiss A-25A-5-CS Shrike Curtiss A-25A-10-CS Shrike Curtiss A-25A-10-CS Shrike Curtiss A-25A-15-CS Shrike Curtiss A-25A-20-CS Shrike Curtiss A-25A-25-CS Shrike Curtiss A-25A-30-CS Shrike

Specification of Curtiss A-25A Helldiver:

One Wright R-2600-8 air-cooled radial rated at 1700 hp for takeoff and 12450 hp at 12,000 feet. Performance: Maximum speed 285 mph at 12,400 feet, 269 mph at sea level. Cruising speed 155 mph. Climb to 10,000 feet in 7.4 minutes. Service ceiling 24,600 feet. Range 1130 miles at 157 mph with a 1000-pound bombload, 1090 miles with a 2000- pound bombload, 2020 miles maximum ferry range. Dimensions: Wingspan 49 feet 8 5/8 inches, length 36 feet 8 inches, height 14 feet 9 inches, wing area 422 square feet. Weights: 10,363 pounds empty, 15,075 pounds gross (dive bomber, with one 1000-pound

Curtiss A-25 Helldiver

bomb in bomb bay), 17,162 pounds gross with 2 500-pound bombs on wing racks, two 1000-pound bombs in bomb bay. Armament: Four fixed, forward-firing 0.50-inch machine guns in the wings. One flexible 0.50-inch machine gun operated by gunner in rear cockpit. A bombload of 2000 pounds could be carried in the internal bay. A pair of 500- pound bombs could be carried on underwing racks. Alternatively, the underwing bombs could be replaced by a pair of 58-gallon drop tanks.

Sources:

1. The Curtiss SB2C-1 Helldiver, Harold Andrews, Aircraft in Profile, 1966.

2. Curtiss Aircraft, 1907-1947, Peter M. Bowers, Naval Institute Press, 1979.

3. American Combat Planes, Third Enlarged Edition, Ray Wagner, Doubleday, 1982.

Planes, Third Enlarged Edition, Ray Wagner, Doubleday, 1982. http://home.att.net/~jbaugher4/a25.html (5 of 5)08-09-2006

Douglas A-26/B-26 Invader

Douglas A-26/B-26 Invader http://home.att.net/~jbaugher4/a26.html (2 of 2)08-09-2006 20:13:17

North American A-27

North American A-27

Last revised September 16, 2000

In 1937, North American Aviation, Inc began work on an attack version of its BC-1A advanced trainer, which was later to be redesignated AT-6. The attack version was intended primarily for the export market.

A demonstration model, the NA-44, was first flown in 1938. It was powered by a 775-hp Wright R-1820-F52 air-cooled radial engine and was armed with five guns. This aircraft was eventually sold to Canada in 1940.

Brazil received thirty examples under the designation NA-72 from July to October of

1940.

Ten more were ordered by Thailand on November 29, 1939 as NA-69s. They were completed by September of 1940 and were about to be shipped to Thailand. However, fearful that they might fall into Japanese hands, they were intercepted by American authorities and impressed into service under the designation A-27 and assigned the serials 41-18890/18899. They were sent to serve in the Philippines. They were there when the Japanese struck in December of 1941. It is believed that they were all quickly destroyed in the initial Japanese onslaught.

Specification of North American A-27 (NA-69)

One Wright R-1820-75 air-cooled radial engine rated at 785 hp for takeoff and 745 hp at 9600 feet. Performance: Maximum speed 250 mph at 11,500 feet. Cruising speed 220 mph . Landing speed 70 mph. Service ceiling 28,000 feet. Range 575 miles with 400 pounds of bombs. 800 miles maximum range. Dimensions: Wingspan 42 feet 0 inches. Length 29 feet 0 inches, height 12 feet 2 inches, wing area 258 square feet. Weights: 4520 pounds empty, 6000 pounds gross, 6700 pounds maximum. Armament: Two fixed forward-firing 0.30-inch machine guns in the nose, one flexible 0.30-inch machine gun in the rear cockpit. A load of four 100-pound bombs could be carried underneath the wings.

North American A-27

Sources:

1. United States Military Aircraft Since 1909, Gordon Swanborough and Peter M. Bowers, Smithsonian Institution Press, 1989.

2. American Combat Planes, Third Enlarged Edition, Ray Wagner, Doubleday, 1982.

Planes, Third Enlarged Edition, Ray Wagner, Doubleday, 1982. http://home.att.net/~jbaugher4/a27.html (2 of 2)08-09-2006

Martin A-30 Baltimore

Martin A-30 Baltimore

Martin A-30 Baltimore Martin A-30 Baltimore Index Last revised: 25 April 1998 1. Model 187B ●

Index

Last revised: 25 April 1998

1. Model 187B

Sources

Last revised: 25 April 1998 1. Model 187B ● Sources

Martin A-30 Baltimore -- Chapter 1

Martin A-30 Baltimore - Chapter 1

Model 187B

Last revised: 29 May 1998

Martin A-30 BaltimoreBaltimore - Chapter 1 Model 187B Last revised: 29 May 1998 Martin A-30 Baltimore - Sources

Martin A-30 Baltimore - Sources Sources

The Martin Model 187B was designed in 1940 to meet a need for a medium bomber that would replace or augment the Model 167 light attack bomber which was then being built for France. However, no Model 187Bs were delivered before France fell, and the British government took over the French contract.

The Martin 187B flew for the first time on June 14, 1941. It differed from the Model 167 in being powered by a pair of 1600 hp Wright R-2600-A5B engines, having self-sealing fuel tanks, 211 pounds of armor, and in having a deeper fuselage for a four-man crew and a load of four 500-pound bombs.

The Model 187B was named Baltimore in RAF service, being named for the city of its origin. The Model 187B was initially built under British contracts and was assigned RAF serial numbers. When Lend-Lease was introduced in 1941, subsequent Baltimores were built under USAAF contracts. For administrative purposes, Lend-Lease Baltimores were assigned the USAAF attack designation of A-30 and were given USAAF serial numbers in addition to the usual RAF serials that were assigned when the aircraft reached Britain. However, despite its USAAF designation and serials, the A-30 was never used operationally by the USAAF. The Baltimore was engaged exclusively in the Mediterranean theatre by the Royal Air Force and by those allied air forces that were operating under RAF command.

The initial versions were the Baltimore Mk. I and Mk. II. Both the Baltimore Mk. I and Mk. II were powered by two 1600 hp Wright GR-2600-19(A5B) radials. Armament consisted of four 0.30 inch machine guns in the wings firing forward, two 0.30 inch machine guns on a flexible mounting in the rear cockpit, and two on a flexible mounting in the lower rear flexible position at the break in the underside of the fuselage. There was a rather unusual mounting of four fixed belly guns pointing aft and at an angle of 9 degrees down and 1.5 degrees out. The crew was typically four -- pilot, navigator/bombardier, radio operator and rear gunner. They were all ordered under British contracts. RAF serials of the 50 Baltimore Mk. Is were AG685/AG734, whereas serials of the 100 Baltimore Mk. II aircraft were AG735/AG834.

The Baltimore Mk. III had the upper flexible guns replaced by a four-gun Boulton Paul power-operated turret. The RAF serials of the 250 Baltimore Mk. IIIs were AG835/AH184.

The Baltimore Mk. IIIA was similar to the Mk. III except that it was delivered under the provisions of Lend-Lease. All previous Baltimores had been direct purchases. For administrative purposes, the Baltimore Mk. IIIA was given the USAAF designation of A-30 and the 281 aircraft that were built were assigned USAAF serial numbers 41- 27682/27962. RAF serials were FA100/FA380. The first Baltimore Mk. IIIA deliveries were made in August of

1942.

Martin A-30 Baltimore -- Chapter 1

The Baltimore Mk. IV was similar to the Mk. III except that a Martin electrically-operated turret armed with two 0.50-inch machine guns replaced the Boulton Paul unit. There were 294 Baltimore Mk. IVs built, with USAAF designations being A-30A-1-MA to A-30A-5-MA. USAAF serials were 43-8438/8562 and corresponding RAF serials were FA381/FA674.

Baltimore Mk. V was a light bomber version. It was powered by two 1700 hp Wright GR-2600-29(A5B5) engines. 600 were ordered on September 23, 1942, and deliveries began in July of 1943. Armament consisted of four 0.50- inch machine guns in the wings, two 0.50-inch machine guns in the Martin power turret, and one flexible 0.50-inch gun in the lower rear firing position. The Baltimore Mk. V was known as A-30A-10/A-30A-30 on USAAF rolls. and bore the USAAF serials between 43-8438/9037. RAF serials were FW281/FW880.

The Baltimore Mk. VI was similar to the Mk. V except that it was equipped for general reconnaissance duties.

By the end of 1941, 146 Baltimores had been delivered to Britain, but 41 had been lost at sea aboard torpedoed ships. The original contract for 400 Baltimore Mk. I/II/IIIs was completed in June of 1942.

The first operational RAF sortie with Baltimores took place on May 23, 1942 in Libya. German fighters shot down all four Baltimores in the sortie, indicating that fighter protection was still needed for light bombers.

Production of the Baltimore ended in May of 1944. A total of 1575 were built. All combat missions were flown exclusively in the Mediterranean theatre, primarily with RAF and South African squadrons. Baltimores were also issued to a Greek and a French squadron in 1944, and they were supplied to a unit of the Italian Co-Belligerent Air Force in November of 1944.

USAAAF serials of A-30 and A-30A:

41-27682/27962

41-27963/28256

43-8438//8562

Martin A-30 - all to RAF as Baltimore Mk. IIIA

(FA100/FA380)

Martin A-30A - all to RAF as Baltimore Mk. IV

(FA381/FA674)

Martin A-30A-10-MA - all to RAF as Baltimore Mk. V

(FW281/FW405)

- FW288, FW323 crashed before delivery

- FW356, FW384 to Royal Navy

- FW392 to French Air Force early in 1946

43-8563/8662

Martin A-30A-15-MA - all to RAF as Baltimore Mk. V

(FW406/FW505)

- FW456 and FW527 to Royal Navy

- FW422 and FW470 to French Air Force early in

1946

- FW419 and FW439 to Italian Air Force in 1946

43-8663/8762

Martin A-30A-20-MA - all to RAF as Baltimore Mk. V

(FW506/FW605)

- FW511 crashed before delivery

- FW514, FW570, FW572 to French Air Force early in 1946

- FW584 and FW592 to Italian Air Force in 1946

Martin A-30 Baltimore -- Chapter 1

43-8763/8862

Martin A-30A-25-MA - all to RAF as Baltimore Mk. V

(FW606/FW705)

- FW624, FW703, FW705 to French Air Force early in 1946

- FW649 and FW660 to Italian Air Force in 1946

43-8863/9037

Martin A-30A-30-MA - all to RAF as Baltimore Mk. V

(FW706/FW880)

- FW746 to Royal Navy

- FW869 to French Air Force early in 1946

Specification of Martin Baltimore Mk. V:

Powerplant:

Two Wright GR-2600-A5B5 Cyclone fourteen-cylinder air-cooled radial engines with two-speed superchargers each rated at 1600 hp at 2200 feet and 1400 hp at 10,800 feet. Dimensions:

Wing span 61 feet 4 inches, length 48 feet 6 inches, height 14 feet 2 inches, wing area 538.5 square feet. Weights:

15,875 pounds empty, 22,622 pounds gross, 27,850 pounds maximum takeoff. Armament:

Four 0.50-inch machine guns in wings firing forward. Two 0.50-inch machine guns in Martin power turret on top of fuselage over the wing trailing edge. One 0.50-inch machine gun on flexible mounting in a position at the break in the underside of the fuselage. Maximum internal bomb load 2000 pounds.

Martin A-30 Baltimoreof the fuselage. Maximum internal bomb load 2000 pounds. Martin A-30 Baltimore - Sources Joe Baugher

Martin A-30 Baltimore - Sources Sources

Joe Baugher jbaugher@worldnet.att.com Maintained by Carl Pettypiece

jbaugher@worldnet.att.com Maintained by Carl Pettypiece http://www.csd.uwo.ca/~pettypi/elevon/baugher_us/a30-01.html

Martin A-30 Baltimore -- Sources

Martin A-30 Baltimore - Sources

Last revised: 29 May 1998

Martin A-30 BaltimoreMartin A-30 Baltimore - Sources Last revised: 29 May 1998 Martin A-30 Baltimore - Chapter 1:

Martin A-30 Baltimore - Chapter 1: Model 187B Model 187B

Jane's Fighting Aircraft of World War II, Military Press, New York, 1989.

Ray Wagner, American Combat Planes, 3rd Edition, Doubleday, 1982.

Joe Baugher jbaugher@worldnet.att.com Maintained by Carl Pettypiece

jbaugher@worldnet.att.com Maintained by Carl Pettypiece

Martin XA-22 Maryland

Martin XA-22 Maryland

Martin XA-22 Maryland Martin XA-22 Maryland Index Last revised: 13 March 1995 1. XA-22 for US

Index

Last revised: 13 March 1995

1. XA-22 for US Army

2. 167F for France, Maryland for RAF

Sources

US Army 2. 167F for France, Maryland for RAF ● Sources

Martin XA-22 Maryland -- Chapter 1

Martin XA-22 Maryland - Chapter 1

XA-22 for US Army

Last revised: 29 May 1998

Martin XA-22 Maryland- Chapter 1 XA-22 for US Army Last revised: 29 May 1998 Martin XA-22 Maryland -

Martin XA-22 Maryland - Chapter 2: 167F for France, Maryland for RAF 167F for France, Maryland for RAF

In 1937, the Army's Materiel Division began to investigate the possibility of the development of a twin- engined attack bomber with a performance that would greatly exceed that of the single-engined types that were currently in service. In March 1938, the Air Corps issued Circular Proposal Number 38-385 that defined the requirements. Payload was to be 1200 pounds, and range was to be 1200 miles at speeds greater than 200 mph. The Army invited all of the contestants to build prototypes of their designs at their own expense for a design competition. The deadline for the entries would be March 17, 1939.

Proposals were submitted by Bell, Douglas, North American, Boeing-Stearman and Martin. Bell's Model 9 proposal called for an aircraft powered by two liquid-cooled Allison engines. It was withdrawn from the competition before anything could be built. The Douglas entry was the Model 7B, a high- winged monoplane powered by a pair of 1100 hp Pratt & Whitney R-1830 Twin Wasp radials. The North American entry was designated NA-40 by the company and was a high-winged aircraft carrying a crew of five -- pilot, co-pilot, bombardier/navigator, radio operator/gunner, and gunner. Stearman's entry was the Model X-100, which was a three-seat high-winged monoplane powered by a pair of untried Pratt & Whitney R-2180 radials.

Martin submitted its Model 167, a twin-engined mid-wing tail-down monoplane. The aircraft was powered by two Pratt & Whitney R-1830-37 Wasp radials, each rated at 1200 hp for takeoff and 1100 hp at 5000 feet. The Model 167 carried three crewmembers in a narrow fuselage -- one pilot, one bombardier in the nose, and a gunner that operated a retractable dorsal turret that was covered by a panel that slid forward when the turret was raised. Armament included four 0.30-inch machine guns in the wings, one 0.30-inch machine gun in the turret, and one 0.30-inch machine gun in a deeply-cut lower position behind the bomb bay. The bomb bay could accommodate 60 30-pound or four 300-pound bombs.

The Model 167 was flown from Baltimore to Wright Field in Ohio on March 14, 1939. It initially flew under the civilian serial number NX22076. On January 26, 1939, the French government placed a contract for 115 aircraft. The French version was designated Model 167F by the company. The Armée de l'Air designation was 167 A-3, the A standing for army cooperation and the -3 identifying a three- seater. The availability of French money made it possible for Martin to build a new plant that was to

Martin XA-22 Maryland -- Chapter 1

play a valuable role in B-26 production.

None of the entries initially succeeded in landing any Army contracts. Instead, in April of 1939, the Army called for a new contest in which new design proposals would be requested and evaluated without the need for the construction and testing of prototypes. All of the contestants, including Martin, submitted new bids. On June 30, 1939, the Army decided in favor of the Douglas DB-7, which was a revised version of the Model 7B that had crashed during flight test. 123 examples were ordered under the designation A-20. Glenn L. Martin protested the production contract awarded to the Douglas DB-7 on the grounds that the Model 7B prototype had crashed and was not actually present at the competition. However, he was consoled by the French contract for the Model 167 which had been placed in January of 1939.

Although the US Army did not order the Model 167 into production, on May 20, 1939, it did arrange to purchase the prototype under the designation XA-22. The serial number was 40-706. Although a few flight tests were carried out, there was no further development.

Specification of Martin XA-22:

Powerplant:

Two Pratt & Whitney R-1830-37 air-cooled radial engines, each rated at 1200 hp for takeoff and 1100 hp at 5000 feet. Performance:

Maximum speed 280 mph at 5000 feet. Cruising speed 260 mph. Service ceiling 20,000 feet. Range 750 miles with 1800 pounds of bombs, 1200 miles with 1200 pounds of bombs. 1900 miles maximum range. Dimensions:

Wingspan 61 feet 4 inches, length 46 feet 8 inches, height 10 feet 0 inches, wing area 538.5 square feet. Weights:

11,170 pounds empty, 16,000 pounds gross, 17,000 pounds maximum.

Martin XA-22 Marylandpounds empty, 16,000 pounds gross, 17,000 pounds maximum. Martin XA-22 Maryland - Chapter 2: 167F for

Martin XA-22 Maryland - Chapter 2: 167F for France, Maryland for RAF 167F for France, Maryland for RAF

Joe Baugher jbaugher@worldnet.att.com Maintained by Carl Pettypiece

Martin XA-22 Maryland -- Chapter 2

Martin XA-22 Maryland - Chapter 2

167F for France, Maryland for RAF

Last revised: 29 May 1998

Martin XA-22 Maryland167F for France, Maryland for RAF Last revised: 29 May 1998 Martin XA-22 Maryland - Chapter

for RAF Last revised: 29 May 1998 Martin XA-22 Maryland Martin XA-22 Maryland - Chapter 1:

Martin XA-22 Maryland - Chapter 1: XA-22 for US Army

Martin XA-22 Maryland - Sources

Although the Martin Model 167 was never ordered into service by the US Army, it was to serve in substantial numbers with both the French and British air arms. On January 26, 1939, the French government placed a contract for 115 aircraft. The French version was designated Model 167F by the company. The Armée de l'Air designation was 167 A-3, the A standing for Army cooperation and the -3 identifying a three-seater.

The version for France was designated Model 167F by the manufacturer. The first 167F for France flew in August 1939. The Model 167F had French equipment installed and was armed with six 7.5-mm machine guns, four in the wings, another in the dorsal turret, and one in a deeply-cut lower position behind the bomb bay. French aircraft could carry two 624-pounds or eight 116-pound bombs and six 7.5-mm machine guns, The Model 167F differed from the XA-22 in having no cover over the turret and was powered by 900-hp Wasps supercharged to 12,000 feet. The first Model 167F flew in August of 1939. The French order was increased to 215 aircraft upon the outbreak of war in September of 1939.

According to the original plan, the Model 167F aircraft were to be delivered to depots in French North Africa where they were to be prepared for operational service. The first Martins did not reach French North Africa until December 15. After the German invasion of May 10, 1940, the French Martins were thrown into action. They flew 418 combat sorties from May 22 to June 24, losing 18 Martins in action. In the meantime, deliveries on a third contract had begun. 223 Martins had arrived in Casablanca by June 15, but only 182 had been assembled and turned over to the Armée de l'Air. After the Armistice, many surviving Martins ended up with the Vichy Air Force, but several managed to escape to England.

After the Armistice of June 1940, the British government took over the last 50 Model 167s on the French order, along with 75 built under a direct RAF contract completed in July of 1940. They were named Maryland Mk. I in RAF service. Between December 1940 and April 1941, 150 Maryland Mk. IIs were delivered to the RAF with R-1830-S3C4-G Wasps which were each rated at 1000 hp at 12,500 feet.

RAF Marylands served with a general reconnaissance unit in Malta in 1940 and in 1941 with one British and three South African light-bomber squadrons in northwest Africa. The Model 167s serving with the Vichy Air Force were used to attack Allied forces in Syria in June of 1941 and American forces near Casablanca in November 1942. This makes the Model 167 yet another example of an aircraft which fought on both sides in the Second World War.

Martin XA-22 Maryland -- Chapter 2

Serials of RAF Marylands:

AH205/AH279

AH280/AH429

Maryland Mk. I

Maryland Mk. II - Martin company numbers 1827/1976

- AH301/311, 313/331, 371, 373/380,386/395, 406/426, 428, 429 renumbered in South African Air Force 1600/1699 allocation

AR702/AR751

AX689

AX690

AX692

AX693

AX696

BJ421/BJ428

BS760/BS777

Maryland Mk. I

- AR702/736 accepted to American standards

- AR720, 736, 740 transferred to Fleet Air Arm Martin 167 Maryland - presumed French escapee Martin 167 Maryland - presumed French escapee Martin 167 Maryland - presumed French escapee Martin 167 Maryland - presumed French escapee Martin 167 Maryland - presumed French escapee

Maryland Mk. I - ex-French contract, delivered to Middle East 1/41 Maryland Mk. I - ex-French contract

- BS777 to Free French forces 7/41

- BS770 and BS777 converted for target towing

Specification of Martin Model 167 (Maryland Mk. I):

Powerplant:

Two Pratt & Whitney R-1830-SC3G air-cooled radial engines, each rated at 1050 hp for takeoff and 900 hp at 12,000 feet. Performance:

Maximum speed 275 mph at sea level, 304 mph at 13,000 feet. Cruising speed 248 mph. Landing speed 71 mph. Service ceiling 29,500 feet. Initial climb rate 2000 feet per minute. Maximum range 1300 miles. Dimensions:

Wingspan 61 feet 4 inches, length 46 feet 8 inches, height 10 feet 0 inches, wing area 538.5 square feet. Weights:

10,586 pounds empty, 15,927 pounds gross, 16,571 pounds maximum. Armament:

Six 7.5-mm machine guns, four in the wings, another in the dorsal turret, and one in a deeply-cut lower position behind the bomb bay. Could carry two 624-pounds or eight 116-pound bombs and six 7.5-mm machine guns.

Martin XA-22 Marylandor eight 116-pound bombs and six 7.5-mm machine guns. Martin XA-22 Maryland - Chapter 1: XA-22

bombs and six 7.5-mm machine guns. Martin XA-22 Maryland Martin XA-22 Maryland - Chapter 1: XA-22

Martin XA-22 Maryland - Chapter 1: XA-22 for US Army

Martin XA-22 Maryland - Sources

Martin XA-22 Maryland -- Chapter 2

Joe Baugher jbaugher@worldnet.att.com Maintained by Carl Pettypiece

jbaugher@worldnet.att.com Maintained by Carl Pettypiece http://www.csd.uwo.ca/~pettypi/elevon/baugher_us/a22-02.html

Martin XA-22 Maryland -- Sources

Martin XA-22 Maryland - Sources

Last revised: 29 May 1998

Martin XA-22 MarylandMartin XA-22 Maryland - Sources Last revised: 29 May 1998 Martin XA-22 Maryland - Chapter 2:

Martin XA-22 Maryland - Chapter 2: 167F for France, Maryland for RAF 167F for France, Maryland for RAF

Peter Bowers, Dog of War, Airpower, Vol. 26, No. 1, 1996.

Bruce Robertson, British Military Aircraft Serials 1912-1969, Ian Allen, 1969.

Ray Wagner, American Combat Planes, Third Enlarged Edition, Doubleday, 1982.

Joe Baugher jbaugher@worldnet.att.com Maintained by Carl Pettypiece

jbaugher@worldnet.att.com Maintained by Carl Pettypiece

US Bomber Designations

US Bomber Designations

Last revised September 8, 2002

1920 Letter-and-Number Bomber Designations

Up until 1920, there was no unified designation scheme for American combat aircraft. Before that time, aircraft had always served under their original manufacturer's designation (e. g. SPAD XIII, DH-4, S.E.5, etc). In 1920, it was decided that some sort of unified designation scheme was needed for American combat planes. In that year, the Army Air Service adopted an official letter-and-number designation scheme for all newly-procured aircraft. The letter would indicate the basic type, and the model number would indicate the sequence number of the particular aircraft in order of procurement within that basic type categeory.

Henceforth, all Army aircraft were to be subdivided into 15 basic categories, three of which were bomber- type categories:

Day Bombardment-DB

Night Bombardment, Short Distance-NBS

Night Bombardment, Long Distance-NBL

In the Day Bombardment (DB) category, there was only one entry:

Gallaudet DB-1

Low wing bomber. Only one built.

Here are the Night Bombardment, Short Distance (NBS) entries:

Martin NBS-1

LWF NBS-2 powered by two

Biplane bomber powered by two Liberty Liquid-cooled engines.

Proposal for biplane bomber

Liberty liquid-cooled engines. Not built.

Elias NBS-3

Curtiss NBS-4

Biplane bomber powered by two Liberty liquid-cooled engines. Only one built.

Biplane bomber powered by two Liberty

US Bomber Designations

liquid-cooled engines. Only 2 built.

Here are the entries in the Night Bombardment, Long Distance (NBL) category:

Witteman-Lewis NBL-1

Martin NBL-2

Large triplane bomber powered by 6 engines. Only one built.

Proposal for monoplane bomber powered by two W-2779 engines. Not built.

1924 Revision

In May of 1924, the system was revised and additional letters were added. Aircraft already in service retained their original designations, but all new production was done under the new system. Bombers were now classified according to their size rather than their role:

Light Bomber-LB

Heavy Bomber--HB

Bomber (medium)--B

Here are the bombers in the LB category:

Huff-Daland LB-1

Fokker-Atlantic LB-2

Huff-Daland XLB-3 radial

Martin LB-4 powered

Huff-Daland LB-5

Biplane bomber powered by one Packard 2A-2540 liquid-cooled engine. 10 built.

Monoplane bomber powered by two Packard 2A-2540 liquid-cooled engines. Not built

Biplane bomber powered by two R-1340

engines. One built.

Proposal for all-metal biplane bomber

by two R-1690 radials. Not built

Biplane bomber powered by two Liberty V-1650 engines. 36 built.

US Bomber Designations

Keystone LB-6 Cyclone

Keystone LB-7

Keystone LB-8

Keystone LB-9

Keystone LB-10

Keystone LB-11

1750-3

Keystone LB-12

Keystone LB-13

Keystone LB-14

5.

Here are the bombers in the HB category:

Huff-Daland HB-1

Atlantic HB-2 Packard 2A-2540.

Huff-Daland HB-3 two Packard 2A-2540.

Biplane bomber powered by two Wright

radials. 18 built

Biplane bomber powered by two Pratt & Whitney Hornet radials. 18 built.

Version of LB-7 with geared Pratt & Whitney R-8360-3 radials. One built.

Version of LB-7 with geared Wright R-1750 Cyclone radials. One built. Version of LB-6 with single rudder and Pratt & Whitney R-1690-3 radials. Designation changed to B-3 in 1926.

Version of LB-6 powered by 2 Wright R-

Cyclone radials. Only one built.

Version of LB-7 with Pratt & Whitney R-1860-1 radials. Only one built.

Biplane bomber powered by two Pratt & Whitney GR-1690 radials. Completed as B-4 and B-6

Biplane bomber powered by two Pratt & Whitney GR-1860 radials. Delivered as B-

Larger and heavier version of LB-1 with one Packard 2A-2540 engine. Only one built.

Projected monoplane bomber with two

Not built

Projected monoplane bomber with

Not built.

US Bomber Designations

Here are the bombers in the B (medium bomber) category:

Huff-Daland XB-1 built

Twin-engine version of XHB-1. Only one

Curtiss B-2 Condor

V-1570

Twin-engined biplane bomber. Two Curtiss

liquid-cooled engines. 12 built.

The Original B-Series (1930-1962)

One of the categories that had been introduced in 1924 was B, which originally stood strictly for medium bombers, as distinguished from heavy bombers (HB) and light bombers (LB). In 1930, the USAAC decided that it made no sense to make such distinctions, and all of these categories were combined into one, B for bomber. There were already two entries in the B series, the Keystone XB-1B and the Curtiss B-2 Condor. Some of the LB bombers were reassigned new designations in the B-series. Subsequent designs were assigned bomber designations in the sequence in which they were ordered.

With the advent of missiles in the 1940s and 1950s, the USAF decided in 1951 to assign "B" designations to its ground attack missiles. The initial assignments were B-61 through B-65.

Here is the 1930-1962 B-series of Army/Air Force bombers:

1930-1962 Bomber Series

Designation

Description

Keystone XB-1B

Originally was twin-engine adaptation of XHB-1 heavy bomber. Twin-rudder biplane. Two Curtiss V-1570 liquid-cooled engines.

Curtiss B-2 Condor

Twin-engined biplane bomber. Two Curtiss V-1570 liquid-cooled engines. 12 built.

Keystone B-3

Twin-engine biplane bomber. Two P & W R-1690 radials. 36 built.

Keystone B-4

Twin-engine biplane bomber. Two P & W R-1860 radials. 25 built.

Keystone B-5

Twin-engine biplane bomber. Two Wright R-1750 radials. 27 built.

Keystone B-6

Twin-engine biplane bomber. Two Wright R-1820 radials. 39 built.

Douglas YB-7

Twin-engine monoplane bomber. Two Curtiss V-1570 liquid-cooled engines mounted under gull wings that were braced by metal struts. 7 built.

Fokker XB-8

Twin-engine monoplane bomber. Adaptation of XO-27 long-range observation prototype. All-wood canti- lever wing, fabric-covered steel tube fuselage. Two Curtiss V- 1570 liquid-cooled engines. Only one built.

US Bomber Designations

Boeing Y1B-9

Twin-engine monoplane bomber. Two P & W R-1860 radials. Crew of four in separate open cockpits. All-metal construction, retractable landing gear. Only 6 built.

Martin B-10

Twin-engine monoplane bomber. Two Wright R-1820 radials. Enclosed cockpits, three 0.3 cal guns. First bomber with performance superior to contemporary fighters.

Douglas YB-11

Twin-engine, long-range reconnaissance amphibian aircraft. Two Wright R-1820 radials mounted on pylons above the high-mounted wing. Retractable wheel undercarriage. Redesignated YO-44 and then YOA-5 before delivery to Army.

Martin YB-12

Version of Martin bomber with P & W. R-1690 radials. 31 built.

Martin B-13

Proposal to equip B-10 airframe with R-1860 radial engines. Cancelled before any could be delivered.

Martin XB-14

B-10 airframe with 950hp R-1830 radials. Only one built.

Boeing XB-15

Experimental four-engine long-range bomber. Only one built. Later converted into XC- 105 cargoplane.

Martin XB-16

Experimental six-engine long-range bomber. Six Allison V-1710 liquid-cooled engines, four as tractors, two as pushers. Two tail booms, twin rudders. Canceled before any could be built.

Boeing B-17 Fortress

Four-engine heavy bomber. Four Wright R-1820 Cyclone radials. Total of 12,677 built.

Douglas B-18 Bolo

Adaptation of DC-2 commercial transport to bombing role.

Douglas XB-19

Four-engined long-range heavy bomber. Four Wright R-3350-5 radials. Only one built.

Boeing Y1B-20

Proposed version of B-15 with 1400 hp Pratt and Whitney R-2180 radial engines. Two ordered. Canceled before any prototype could be completed.

North American XB-21

Twin-engine medium bomber. Two P & W R-2180 Twin Hornets with superchargers. Crew of six. Five 0.30-cal guns in power turrets in nose and on top, and at mounts in waist and ventral positions. Only one built.

Douglas B-22

Proposed adaptation of B-18 to take two Wright R-2600 radials. Cancelled in favor of B-

23.

Douglas B-23 Dragon

Twin-engine medium bomber. Ordered as part of the B-18A contract. Embodied a greatly improved aerodynamic form and incorporated latest ideas on defensive armament, including a tail gun. Two Wright R-2600 Cyclones

Consolidated B-24 Liberator

Four-engine heavy bomber. Four Pratt and Whitney R-1830 radial engines on high- mounted wing. Total of 18,188 built, greater than that of any other American aircraft.

North American B-25 Mitchell

Twin-engine medium bomber. Two Wright R-2600 Cyclone radial engines. Total of

9816

built.

Martin B-26 Marauder

Twin-engine medium bomber. Two P & W R-2800 radials. High-mounted wing. Streamlined cigar-shaped fuselage Total of 5157 Marauders built.

Martin XB-27

High-altitude adaptation of B-26. Two turbo- supercharged P & W R-2800 Wasps. Pressurized cabin. Project cancelled before any could be built.

North American XB-28

High-altitude adaptation of B-25. Two turbo- supercharged P & W R-2800 Wasps. Pressurized cabin. Single rudder. No need was perceived for high- altitude medium bombers, and only two were built.

 

Long range, high altitude heavy bomber. Four Wright R-3350 radials. Unbroken nose,

Boeing B-29 Superfortress

crew of 11, pressurized cabin. Four remote-controlled turrets, plus tail gun position.

3970

built

US Bomber Designations

Lockheed XB-30

Long range, high altitude bomber. Proposed bomber version of Constellation airliner. Entered in competition which eventually produced the B-29, but Lockheed withdrew from the contest before any prototypes could be built.

Douglas XB-31

Long-range, high altitude bomber designed in competition with Boeing B-29. Canceled in favor of B-29 before any prototypes could be built.

Consolidated B-32 Dominator

High-altitude development of B-24. Four Wright R-3350 radials. Only 155 built.

Martin XB-33

Long range bomber project with four 1800 hp R-2600 radials and twin tails. Canceled in favor of B-29 before it ever got off the drawing board.

Lockheed B-34 Ventura

Midwing twin-engine medium bomber with twin rudders. Military adaptation of Model 18 Lodestar airliner.

Northrop YB-35

Long-range flying-wing bomber. Four P & W R-4360 radials with double turbosuperchargers driving pusher propellers.

Convair B-36 Peacemaker

Six-engine long-range heavy bomber. Six P & W R-4360 radials driving pusher props. D version had four General Electric J-47 jets in pods under outer wing to increase over- target speed.