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").

XB-19
XB-19 on ground (cropped)
Role Heavy bomber
National origin United States
Manufacturer Douglas Aircraft Company
First flight 27 June 1941
Retired 17 August 1946
Status Scrapped
Primary user United States Army Air Corps
Number built 1

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.[1][2]

Surviving artifacts

Douglas XB-19 before scrapping
XB-19A at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base before scrapping.

The new U.S. Air Force had plans to save the B-19 for eventual display, but in 1949 the Air Force did not have a program to save historic aircraft and the Air Force Museum had not yet been built. The B-19 was therefore scrapped, but two of its enormous main tires were saved. One was put on display at the Hill Aerospace Museum at Hill Air Force Base in Ogden, Utah and the other has been on display at the National Museum of the United States Air Force in Dayton, Ohio, in the "Early Years" gallery for many years.[3]

Specifications (XB-19)

Data from McDonnell Douglas aircraft since 1920 : Volume I[4]

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

Performance

  • 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)

Armament

  • 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

See also

Aircraft of comparable role, configuration and era

Related lists

References

  1. ^ Kaplan, Philip (2005), Big Wings, Pen & Sword Aviation, ISBN 978-1844151783
  2. ^ Wagner, Ray. American Combat Planes of the 20th Century: A Comprehensive Reference. Reno, Nevada: Jack Bacon & Co, 2004. ISBN 0-930083-17-2.
  3. ^ Museum placard
  4. ^ Francillon, René J. (1988). McDonnell Douglas aircraft since 1920 : Volume I. London: Naval Institute Press. pp. 307–312. ISBN 0870214284.

External links

Allison V-3420

The Allison V-3420 was an American large experimental W-configuration American piston aircraft engine, designed in 1937.

B19

B19 or B-19 may refer to:

B19 (New York City bus) serving Brooklyn

Douglas XB-19, an experimental bomber aircraft

Parvovirus B19, the virus that causes fifth disease

Caro–Kann Defence ECO code in chess

Patient B-19

Boeing XB-15

The Boeing XB-15 (Boeing 294) was a United States bomber aircraft designed in 1934 as a test for the United States Army Air Corps (USAAC) to see if it would be possible to build a heavy bomber with a 5,000 mi (8,000 km) range. For a year beginning in mid-1935 it was designated the XBLR-1. When it first flew in 1937, it was the most massive and voluminous aircraft ever built in the US. It set a number of load-to-altitude records for land-based aircraft, including carrying a 31,205 lb (14,154 kg) payload to 8,200 ft (2,500 m) on 30 July 1939.The aircraft's immense size allowed flight engineers to enter the wing through a crawlway and make minor repairs in flight. A 5,000 mi (8,000 km) flight took 33 hours at its 152 mph (245 km/h) cruising speed; the crew was made up of several shifts, and bunks allowed them to sleep when off duty.

Boeing Y1B-20

The Boeing Y1B-20 (Boeing 316) was designed as an improvement on the Boeing XB-15 (Y1- indicates a funding source outside normal fiscal year procurement.) It was slightly larger than its predecessor, and was intended to use much more powerful engines. It was presented to the Army in early 1938, and two orders were placed soon after. The order was reversed before construction began.

Despite their cancellation, the XB-15 and Y1B-20 laid the groundwork for the Boeing B-29 Superfortress.

Buzz number

A buzz number was a large letter and number combination applied to United States Air Force military aircraft in the years immediately after World War II, through the early 1960s. They were applied for general aerial identification of aircraft, but particularly for the identification of aircraft guilty of "buzzing" (very-low-altitude high-speed passes) over populated areas.

The first two letters of a buzz number indicated the type and designation of an aircraft while the last three were generally the last three digits of the aircraft serial number. Air Force fighters used buzz numbers starting with the letter F (or P, when fighters were designated as "pursuit" aircraft before June 1948), while bombers started with the letter B. For example, a P-51 Mustang would have a buzz number such as FF-230 while an F-86 Sabre might be FU-910. A B-66 Destroyer would have a buzz number such as BB-222. One of the last Air Force fighters to carry a buzz number was the F-4 Phantom II (FJ), then called the F-110 Spectre by the Air Force.

Douglas Aircraft Company

The Douglas Aircraft Company was an American aerospace manufacturer based in Southern California. It was founded in 1921 by Donald Wills Douglas Sr. and later merged with McDonnell Aircraft in 1967 to form McDonnell Douglas, when it then operated as a division of McDonnell Douglas. McDonnell Douglas later merged with Boeing in 1997.

Douglas XB-31

The Douglas XB-31 (Douglas Model 332) was the design submitted by Douglas after the request by the United States Army Air Forces for a very heavy bomber aircraft, the same request that led to the Boeing B-29 Superfortress, Lockheed XB-30, and Consolidated B-32 Dominator.

Earl Schuyler Kleinhans

Earl Schuyler (Sky) Kleinhans (February 3, 1905 – September 21, 1996) was an airplane and flying boat aeronautical engineering pioneer with primary experience at Sikorsky and Douglas Aircraft where he advanced over a 36-year career to become chief engineer and retired as the chairman of the scientific advisory board in 1969 for McDonnell Douglas.

Howard A. Anderson Jr.

Howard Alvin Anderson Jr. (March 31, 1920 – September 27, 2015), usually credited either as Howard A. Anderson Jr. or Howard Anderson Jr., was an American visual effects artist and cinematographer specializing in photographic effects, titles, and opticals. A pioneer of visual effects, Anderson was one of the effects artists on Star Trek: The Original Series and created the title sequences for hundreds of the most popular television series produced between the early 1950s and late 1980s, including I Love Lucy, The Untouchables, The Brady Bunch, Happy Days, Kung Fu, and Cheers. He also provided titles or effects on such films as Some Like It Hot, The Apartment, Jack the Giant Killer, Tobruk, Blazing Saddles, and Superman.

List of United States bomber aircraft

This is a list of United States bomber aircraft

List of aircraft of World War II

The List of aircraft of World War II includes all the aircraft used by those countries, which were at war during World War II from the period between their joining the conflict and the conflict ending for them. Aircraft developed but not used operationally in the war are in the prototypes section at the end. Prototypes for aircraft that entered service under a different design number are ignored in favour of the service version. The date the aircraft entered service, or was first flown if the service date is unknown or it did not enter service follows the name, followed by the country of origin and major wartime users. Aircraft used for multiple roles are generally only listed under their primary role unless specialized versions were built for other roles. Aircraft used by neutral countries such as Spain, Switzerland and Sweden or countries which did no significant fighting such as most of those in South America (except Brazil), are not included.

List of bomber aircraft

The following is a list of bomber airplanes and does not include bomber airships, organized by era and manufacturer. A bomber is a military aircraft designed to attack ground or sea targets.

List of cancelled military projects

This is a list of cancelled military projects.

List of large aircraft

This is a list of large aircraft.

The US Federal Aviation Administration defines a large aircraft as any aircraft with a certificated maximum takeoff weight of more than 12,500 lb (5,700 kg) The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) defines a large aircraft as either "an aeroplane with a maximum take-off mass of more than 5,700 kilograms (12,600 pounds) or a multi-engined helicopter."

Martin XB-16

The Martin XB-16, company designation Model 145, was a projected heavy bomber designed in the United States during the 1930s.

Short Stirling

The Short Stirling was a British four-engined heavy bomber of the Second World War. It has the distinction of being the first four-engined bomber to be introduced into service with the Royal Air Force (RAF).

The Stirling was designed during the late 1930s by Short Brothers to conform with the requirements laid out in Air Ministry Specification B.12/36. Prior to this, the RAF had been primarily interested in developing increasingly capable twin-engined bombers but had been persuaded to investigate a prospective four-engined bomber as a result of promising foreign developments in the field. Out of the submissions made to the specification, Supermarine proposed the Type 317 which was viewed as the favourite, while Short's submission, named the S.29, was selected as an alternative. When the preferred Type 317 had to be abandoned, the S.29, which later received the name Stirling, proceeded to production.

During early 1941, the Stirling entered squadron service. During its use as a bomber, pilots praised the type for its ability to out-turn enemy night fighters and its favourable handling characteristics, while the altitude ceiling was often a subject of criticism. The Stirling had a relatively brief operational career as a bomber before being relegated to second line duties from late 1943. This was due to the increasing availability of the more capable Handley Page Halifax and Avro Lancaster, which took over the strategic bombing of Germany. Decisions by the Air Ministry on certain performance requirements, such as to restrict the wingspan of the aircraft to 100 feet, had played a role in limiting the Stirling's performance; these restrictive demands had not been placed upon the Halifax and Lancaster bombers.

During its later service, the Stirling was used for mining German ports; new and converted aircraft also flew as glider tugs and supply aircraft during the Allied invasion of Europe during 1944–1945. In the aftermath of the Second World War, the type was rapidly withdrawn from RAF service, having been replaced in the transport role by the Avro York, a derivative of the Lancaster that had previously displaced it from the bomber role. A handful of ex-military Stirlings were rebuilt for the civil market.

Tail gunner

A tail gunner or rear gunner is a crewman on a military aircraft who functions as a gunner defending against enemy fighter attacks from the rear, or "tail", of the plane. The tail gunner operates a flexible machine gun emplacement in the tail end of the aircraft with an unobstructed view toward the rear of the aircraft. While the term tail gunner is usually associated with a crewman inside a gun turret, the first tail guns were operated from open apertures within the aircraft's fuselage, like in the Scarff ring mechanism used in the British Handley Page V/1500 (a 1918 aircraft), and also, in the most evolved variants of this type of air-to-air anti-aircraft defense, they may also be operated by remote control from another part of the aircraft, like in the American B-52 bombers (an aircraft first introduced in 1955 but still in service).

Tupolev ANT-20

The Tupolev ANT-20 Maksim Gorki (Russian: Туполев АНТ-20 "Максим Горький") was a Soviet eight-engine aircraft, the largest in the world during the 1930s. Its wingspan was similar to that of a modern Boeing 747, and was not exceeded until the 64.6 metre wingspan Douglas XB-19 heavy bomber prototype first flew in 1941.

Wright R-3350 Duplex-Cyclone

The Wright R-3350 Duplex-Cyclone is a twin-row, supercharged, air-cooled, radial aircraft engine with 18 cylinders displacing nearly 55 L. Power ranged from 2,200 to over 3,700 hp (1,640 to 2,760 kW), depending on the model. Developed before World War II, the R-3350's design required a long time to mature before finally being used to power the Boeing B-29 Superfortress. After the war, the engine had matured sufficiently to become a major civilian airliner design, notably in its turbo-compound forms, and was used in the Lockheed L-1049 Super Constellation airliners into the 1990s. The engine is now commonly used on Hawker Sea Fury and Grumman F8F Bearcat Unlimited Class Racers at the Reno Air Races. Its main rival was the Pratt & Whitney R-4360 Wasp Major.

Douglas military aircraft
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