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Old 12-07-2019, 08:18 AM
Ernie P.
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Originally Posted by Top_Gunn View Post
Today's clue.

Looking for the name of a warbird.

1. Only one built.

2. But that one was used in a war, though not in the role it had originally been designed for. It served for several years, unlike most one-offs.

3. Its design included advanced technology for the time.

4. But because of long development delays it was inferior to other similar aircraft that were already in production by the time it first flew.

5. Inadequate funding and engine problems were two of the causes of the delays in development.

6. It was designed to use water-cooled engines but first flew with air-cooled radial engines. These were later replaced by the production version of the engines it had been designed for. The radial-engine version was considerably slower.

7. Its first flight took place more than three years after its manufacturer was awarded the contract to make it. Even before it was finished it was clear that it would be obsolete when completed.

8. Even with the more-streamlined water-cooled engines, it was slow. But it had a very long range.

9. And it had a galley, so that meals could be prepared on long flights.

10. Tricycle landing gear.

11. When it became obvious that the airplane, then under construction, would not be satisfactory, the manufacturer wanted to stop the project, but the government insisted that it continue.
Well, at least my latest choice meets the last two clues. How about the XB-19? Thanks; Ernie P.

Answer: The Douglas XB-19

The Douglas XB-19 was the largest bomber aircraft built for the United States Army Air Forces until 1946. It was originally given the designation XBLR-2 (XBLR denoting "Experimental Bomber Long Range").

Design and development

The XB-19 project was intended to test flight characteristics and design techniques for giant bombers. Despite advances in technology that made the XB-19 obsolete before it was completed, the Army Air Corps felt that the prototype would be useful for testing despite Douglas Aircraft wanting to cancel the expensive project. Its construction took so long that competition for the contracts to make the XB-35 and XB-36 occurred two months before its first flight.

The plane flew on 27 June 1941, more than three years after the construction contract was awarded. In 1943 the Wright R-3350 engines were replaced with Allison V-3420-11 V engines. After completion of testing the XB-19 was earmarked for conversion into a cargo aircraft, but modifications were not completed, and the aircraft flew for the last time on August 17, 1946. It was eventually scrapped at Tucson in June 1949. General characteristics
  • Crew: 16 combat crew, with provision for 2 additional flight mechanics and six-man relief crew
  • Length: 132 ft 4 in (40.34 m)
  • Wingspan: 212 ft 0 in (64.62 m)
  • Height: 42 ft 0 in (12.80 m)
  • Wing area: 4,285 sq ft (398.1 m2)
  • Empty weight: 86,000 lb (39,009 kg)
  • Gross weight: 140,000 lb (63,503 kg)
  • Max takeoff weight: 162,000 lb (73,482 kg)
  • Fuel capacity: 10,350 US gal (8,620 imp gal; 39,200 l) internals with optional auxiliary tanks of 824 US gal (686 imp gal; 3,120 l) capacity
  • Powerplant: 4 Wright R-3350-5 Duplex Cyclone 18-cylinder air-cooled radial piston engines, 2,000 hp (1,500 kW) each
XB-19A Later fitted with 4x 2,600 hp (1,900 kW) Allison V-3420-11 24-cylinder engines
  • Propellers: 3-bladed constant-speed metal propellers, 17 ft 0 in (5.18 m) diameter
  • Maximum speed: 224 mph (360 km/h, 195 kn) at 15,700 ft (4,800 m)
  • Cruise speed: 135 mph (217 km/h, 117 kn)
  • Range: 5,200 mi (8,400 km, 4,500 nmi)
  • Ferry range: 7,710 mi (12,410 km, 6,700 nmi) with auxiliary tanks fitted
  • Service ceiling: 23,000 ft (7,000 m)
  • Rate of climb: 650 ft/min (3.3 m/s)
  • Wing loading: 32.6 lb/sq ft (159 kg/m2)
  • Guns:
  • Bombs: 18,700 lb (8,500 kg) internal; maximum bomb load of 37,100 lb (16,800 kg) including external racks with reduced fuel load