Fletcher FBT-2

The Fletcher FBT-2 was a military trainer aircraft built in the United States in the early 1940s. Although it was never used in its intended role, it was ordered in small numbers as a target drone, that then played a small part in the development of guided bombs.

FBT-2
Role Trainer
Manufacturer Fletcher
Designer Wendell Fletcher
First flight 1941
Primary user United States Army Air Forces
Number built 11

Design and development

The FBT-2 was a low-wing cantilever monoplane with fixed tailwheel undercarriage which seated the pilot and instructor in tandem in an enclosed cockpit. Construction throughout was of plywood, and the wings were interchangeable, as were the tail panels.[1]

Operational history

A single prototype was evaluated for military use, but generated no interest. However, the USAAF ordered the type as a radio-controlled target drone under the designation XPQ-11. The prototype FBT-2 was modified for use as a drone controller as the YCQ-1A. Two batches of 50 drones were ordered; however before any were delivered, the type was cancelled in favor of the PQ-8 Cadet, only the single prototype XPQ-11 being completed.[2] The Army then ordered the ten PQ-11s under construction to be completed as XBG-1 glide bombs, the engine being removed and replaced with a 2,000-pound (910 kg) bomb.[3] Testing was conducted, but the type failed to enter operational service.[4]

Variants

  • FBT-2 - basic trainer with Wright R-760 engine and tailwheel undercarriage (1 built)
    • CQ-1 - drone controller with tricycle undercarriage (1 converted from FBT-2)
  • PQ-11 - aerial target with tricycle undercarriage and Pratt & Whitney R-985 engine (contract cancelled before aircraft completed)
    • BG-1 - glide bomb with 2,000-pound (910 kg) warhead (10 built from unfinished PQ-11s)

Operators

 United States

Specifications (FBT-2)

Data from Taylor[5]

General characteristics

Performance

  • Maximum speed: 175 mph (282 km/h, 152 kn)
  • Range: 540 mi (870 km, 470 nmi)
  • Service ceiling: 19,000 ft (5,800 m)

Armament

  • None in FBT-2 or PQ-11
  • XBG-1: 2,000-pound (910 kg) warhead.

See also

Aircraft of comparable role, configuration and era

Related lists

References

Citations

  1. ^ Jane's 1956, p.280.
  2. ^ Parsch 2012
  3. ^ American Aviation Historical Society. AAHS Journal, Volume 53 (2008), p.129.
  4. ^ Parsch 2009
  5. ^ Taylor 1989, p.392.

Bibliography

  • Bridgman, Leonard (1956). Jane's All the World's Aircraft 1956-1957. London: Sampson Low, Marston & Company. ASIN B002A8AFD2.
  • Parsch, Andreas (25 June 2009). "BG Series (BG-1 through BG-3)". Directory of U.S. Military Rockets and Missiles, Appendix 1: Early Missiles and Drones. Designation-Systems. Retrieved 2017-12-14.
  • Parsch, Andreas (7 February 2012). "PQ Series (PQ-8 through PQ-15)". Directory of U.S. Military Rockets and Missiles, Appendix 1: Early Missiles and Drones. Designation-Systems. Retrieved 2017-12-14.
  • Taylor, Michael J. H. (1989). Jane's Encyclopedia of Aviation. New York: Portland House. ISBN 978-0517691861.
Fletcher Aviation

Fletcher Aviation Corporation was an aircraft manufacturer founded by three brothers, Wendell, Frank, Maurice Fletcher, in Pasadena, California in 1941. The initial aim of the company was to produce a wooden basic trainer aircraft (the FBT-2) that Wendell had designed, but despite brief interest by the Army in the type to use as a target drone, nothing came of this aircraft. After relocating to Rosemead, California, later projects involved a family of related designs, including (the FU-24) with 296 produced in New Zealand as an agricultural aircraft with many still operating today.During the Korean War the company purchased Rosemead Airport from Bob and Jack Heasley. The roughly triangular property is located south of the 10 freeway, although the airport pre-dates the freeway. The property extended from Rosemead Boulevard on the west to the Rio Hondo river basin on the south and east.In 1953, the same year the FU-24 debuted, they also produced a prototype amphibious vehicle known as the Fletcher Flair. The vehicle was powered by a 4-cylinder Porsche 356 drivetrain, modified to make it a four-wheel drive. The company hoped to sell the vehicle to the US Army but the vehicle performed poorly in the water and the Army passed.Purchased by AJ Industries, it changed its name to Flair Aviation in 1960, and produced aircraft fuelling equipment, including drop tanks and hose reels for inflight refuelling. Moved to El Monte, California, its name was changed back to Fletcher and then Sargent Fletcher in 1964 before abandoning aircraft manufacturing in 1966, with rights to the FU-24 going to Pacific Aerospace.

John Trent (actor)

John Trent (born LaVerne Ward Browne, December 5, 1906 – May 12, 1966) was an aviator-turned-actor-turned-aviator, best known as an actor for the "Tailspin Tommy" adventure film series in the 1930s. From 1931 to 1941, under the stage name John Trent, Browne appeared in 16 Hollywood films. While flying was a natural for him, acting was not, and he eventually turned his back on his Hollywood career, resuming his career in aviation, as a test pilot.

List of aircraft (F)

This is a list of aircraft in alphabetical order beginning with 'F'.

List of unmanned aerial vehicles

The following is a list of unmanned aerial vehicles developed and operated in various countries around the world.

Piper LBP

The Piper LBP was a glide bomb, or "Glomb", developed by Piper Aircraft for the United States Navy during World War II. Developed as one of three "Glomb" aircraft, the inherent limitations of the Glomb and the technology of the time, combined with difficulties encountered in testing of the prototype, led to the production contract for the LBP-1 being reduced, then cancelled, with none of the Glomb aircraft ever seeing operational service.

Pratt-Read LBE

The Pratt-Read LBE-1 was a prototype glide bomb, or "Glomb", developed for the United States Navy during World War II. Although there were high hopes for the concept, the limitations of the Glomb led to the production contract for the LBE-1 being reduced, then cancelled, and only four examples of the type were ever built.

Taylorcraft LBT

The Taylorcraft LBT was a glider designed and built by Taylorcraft during World War II, in response to a United States Navy requirement for a glide bomb. One of three prototype "Glomb" models ordered by the Navy, the LBT suffered from technical and performance difficulties, and was cancelled early in production, none of the aircraft seeing operational service.

USAAF drone aircraft
Controllable bombs
Target control aircraft
Aerial target (subscale)
Aerial target (full-scale)
USAAC/USAAF glider aircraft designations
Assault Glider
Bomb Glider
Cargo Glider
Fuel Glider
Powered Glider
Training Glider
United States Army Air Forces missile and guided bomb designations, 1941–1947
Bomb gliders
Glide bombs
Glide torpedoes
Jet bombs
Vertical bombs

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