Convair XB-53

The Convair XB-53 was a proposed jet-powered medium bomber aircraft, designed by Convair for the United States Army Air Forces.[1] With a radical tailless, forward-swept wing design, the aircraft appeared futuristic; however, the project was canceled before either of the two prototypes were completed.[1]

XB-53
XA-44
1946 design then designated XA-44
Role Attack aircraft
Manufacturer Convair
First flight n/a
Status Cancelled in 1949
Primary user United States Air Force
Number built 0

Design and development

The project was originally designated XA-44 in 1945 under the old "attack" category. An unusual forward-swept wing-design powered by three J35-GE turbojets, the project was developed in parallel with Convair's XB-46. The original design had a wing with a 12° forward-sweep and a solid nose section, but when the Army Air Force revamped the advanced attack aircraft requirement into a light bomber requirement in 1946, the aircraft was redesignated XB-53 and the wing redesigned with a 30° forward-sweep and 8° dihedral that was borrowed from German wartime research, but also a glazed nose section. The swept-forward configuration would give the aircraft a greater climb rate and maneuverability.[2][3] It looked promising enough at one point for the Army Air Force to consider canceling the XB-46 in favor of the XA-44, since there was not enough funding for both.[1]

Classified as a medium bomber, the XB-53 would have carried up to 12,000 pounds of bombs as well as 40 High Velocity Aerial Rockets (HVAR) mounted on underwing pylons.[1]

Convair argued for completion of the XB-46 prototype as a flying testbed, without armament and other equipment, and with the substitution of two XA-44s for the other two B-46 airframes on contract. The Air Force ratified this in June 1946 but the project did not progress, nor were additional B-46s built. The XB-53 program was reinstated in February 1949 but only for a short while.

Specifications (XB-53 estimated)

Data from [4]

General characteristics

  • Crew: four
  • Length: 79 ft 5 in (24.2 m)
  • Wingspan: 80 ft 9 in (24.6 m)
  • Height: 23 ft 8 in (7.22 m)
  • Wing area: 1,370 sq ft (127 m2)
  • Empty weight: 31,760 lb (14,406 kg)
  • Max takeoff weight: 60,000 lb (27,216 kg)
  • Powerplant: 3 × Allison J35 turbojets, 4,000 lbf (18 kN) thrust each

Performance

  • Maximum speed: 500 kn (580 mph, 930 km/h)
  • Range: 1,700 nmi (2,000 mi, 3,200 km)
  • Service ceiling: 44,000 ft (13,000 m)

Armament

  • Bombs: 12,000 lb (5,443 kg)

See also

Related lists

References

Notes

  1. ^ a b c d "Fact sheet: Convair XB-53." National Museum of the US Air Force. Retrieved: 9 July 2017.
  2. ^ Buttler, Tony (2010). American Secret Projects: Bombers, Attack and Anti-Submarine Aircraft 1945 to 1974. Hinckley, England: Midland Publishing. ISBN 978-1-85780-331-0.
  3. ^ Bradley, Robert, 2013. Convair Advanced Designs II: Secret Fighters, Attack Aircraft, and Unique Concepts 1929-1973. Manchester, England: Crécy Publishing. ISBN 978-0-8597917-0-0.
  4. ^ Jones 1974, p. 1980–1982.

Bibliography

  • Andrade, John M. U.S. Military Aircraft Designations and Serials since 1909. Earl Shilton, Leicester: Midland Counties Publications, 1979. ISBN 0-904597-22-9.
  • Jones, Lloyd S. U.S. Bombers, B-1 1928 to B-1 1980s. Fallbrook, California: Aero Publishers, 1962, second edition 1974. ISBN 0-8168-9126-5.
  • Knaack, Marcelle Size. Encyclopedia of U.S. Air Force Aircraft and Missile Systems, Volume II – Post-World War II Bombers 1945–1973. Washington, D.C.: Office of Air Force History, USAF, 1988. ISBN 0-912799-59-5.
  • Wagner, Ray. American Combat Planes – Second Edition. Garden City, New York: Doubleday and Company, 1968. ISBN 0-370-00094-3.

External links

B53

B53 or B-53 may refer to :

B53 nuclear bomb

HLA-B53, an HLA-B serotype

Convair XB-53, an American aircraft

Convair

Convair, previously Consolidated Vultee, was an American aircraft manufacturing company that later expanded into rockets and spacecraft. The company was formed in 1943 by the merger of Consolidated Aircraft and Vultee Aircraft. In 1953 it was purchased by General Dynamics, and operated as their Convair Division for most of its corporate history.

Convair is best known for its military aircraft; it produced aircraft such as the Convair B-36 Peacemaker, the F-102 Delta Dagger, the F-106 Delta Dart, and the B-58 Hustler bombers. It also manufactured the first Atlas rockets, including the rockets that were used for the manned orbital flights of Project Mercury. The company's subsequent Atlas-Centaur design continued this success and derivatives of the design remain in use as of 2019.

The company also entered the jet airliner business with its Convair 880 and Convair 990 designs. These were smaller than contemporary aircraft like the Boeing 707 and Douglas DC-8, but somewhat faster than either. This combination of features failed to find a profitable niche and the company exited the airliner design business. However, the manufacturing capability built up for these projects proved very profitable and the company became a major subcontractor for airliner fuselages.

In 1994 most of the company's divisions were sold by General Dynamics to McDonnell Douglas and Lockheed, with the remaining components deactivated in 1996.

Forward-swept wing

A forward-swept wing is an aircraft wing configuration in which the quarter-chord line of the wing has a forward sweep. Typically, the leading edge also sweeps forward.

Manufacturer
designations
Bombers
Fighters and
attack aircraft
Civilian transports
Military transports
Experimental aircraft
General Dynamics
United States attack aircraft designations, Army/Air Force and Tri-Service systems
Army/Air Force sequence
(1925-1962)
Tri-service sequence
(1962-present)
Related designations
USAAS/USAAC/USAAF/USAF bomber designations, Army/Air Force and Tri-Service systems
Original sequences
(1924–1930)
Main sequence
(1930–1962)
Long-range Bomber
(1935–1936)
Non-sequential
Tri-Service sequence
(1962–current)

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