XP-50 Edit

Grumman XP-50 twin-engine army fighter prototype


Practically at the same time the XF5F-1 Skyrocket carrier-based fighter was being created, Grumman Aircraft Engineering Corporation designers worked on the development of a promising interceptor, based on the XF5F-1, for the United States Army Air Corps. The prototype was given a company designation of Model G-46 and an army designation of ХР-50. The USAAC issued an order for production of the new aircraft on November 25, 1939. Although the ХР-50 was similar to the XF5F-1 externally, a number of significant changes were introduced into the original layout. Unlike its carrier-based predecessor, the ХР-50 was not a low-wing but a mid-wing monoplane, the fuselage was significantly lengthened, the shape of the pilot's cockpit canopy was changed, and the tailplane span was reduced. The plane was powered by two Wright XR-1820-67/79 Cyclone nine-cylinder, air-cooled engines, with a left- and right-handed reduction gear, producing a takeoff power of 1,200 hp. Due to the new engines installed, the shape of the nacelles and engine cowlings was changed. The aircraft's armament included two 20 mm Hispano-Suiza AN-M2 cannons, with 60 rounds each, and two 12.7 mm Colt-Browning AN-M2.5 machine guns, with 500 rounds each, mounted in the forward fuselage. In addition, the aircraft could carry two 100 lb (45 kg) bombs under its wing panels. Instead of the XF5F-1's tail wheel, the ХР-50 had a nose landing gear. The plane's fuel tanks were self-sealing, and the pilot was protected just as he was in the Navy version, i. e. with the help of an armored front bulkhead, an armored backrest, and an armored floor. The XP-50 (Ser No. 40-3057) prototype got off the ground for the first time on 18 February 1941, with Robert Hall, a Grumman test pilot, at the controls. The test flights showed that the ХР-50 had a better controllability than the XF5F-1. In addition, the turbosupercharged engines ensured the ХР-50's much better characteristics at medium and high altitudes.

On 14 May 1941, during the 15th test flight of the ХР-50 prototype, the turbosupercharger of one of the engines was destroyed, the cause undetermined, and the turbine blades flying in all directions severed the line running to the hydraulic nose landing gear extension system. Pilot Robert Hall successfully bailed out of the damaged vehicle. After the first prototype was lost, all work on the ХР-50 was discontinued

Title XP-50
Country United States of America
Max altitude 10400m
Max speed 681km/h on altitude 6700m
Turn time 19.73s
Take on distance 444.18m
Climb time 462.96s to altitude 5000m
Climb rate 25m/s