Douglas XB-19
1941
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Douglas XB-19

The Douglas XB-19 was originally designated XBLR-2 (eXperimental Bomber Long-Range 2) and was the largest bomber built for the Army up to that time (1938).

Douglas XB-19

The XB-19 was essentially used as a test bed for very large bomber construction techniques and flight characteristics. The Douglas Aircraft Company actually wanted to cancel the project because of the expense and extended construction time which made the aircraft obsolete before it ever flew. However, the Army Air Corps insisted the aircraft be completed for test use.

The XB-19's first flight was 27 June 1941, more than 3 years after the construction contract was awarded. In 1943, the original radial engines were replaced by Allison V-3420 in-line engines and the aircraft was redesignated XB-19A. After testing was completed, the XB-19A was used as a cargo/transport aircraft until 1949 when it was scrapped.

3-View 
Douglas XB-19A three-view drawing (605 x 713)


Specification 
 CREW16
 ENGINE4 x 2000hp
 WEIGHTS
    Take-off weight73467 kg161968 lb
 DIMENSIONS
    Wingspan64.62 m212 ft 0 in
    Length40.23 m132 ft 0 in
    Height13.03 m43 ft 9 in
 PERFORMANCE
    Max. speed360 km/h224 mph
    Ceiling7015 m23000 ft
    Range8372 km5202 miles
 ARMAMENT2 x 37mm cannon, 5 x 12.7mm + 6 x 7.62mm machine-guns , 16330kg of bombs

Douglas XB-19

Comments1-20 21-40
William Zempel, whzempel=gmail.com, 26.08.2014

When the B19 arrived at March Field in the summer of 1941 my father somehow arranged to take me on to the base to see it. I was just about to turn 11 years old. I was awed by the size of the plane, but what really got me was the size of the wheels. About 10 years ago my wife and I were visiting the Air Force Museum at Wright Patterson, and much to my surprise, I saw a huge wheel which I immediately recognized as from the B19.

John Howell, j.j.howell=ovalley.net, 13.05.2014

I was with my mom,dad and my brother Don when I saw the B-19 fly over the San Fernando Valley in about 1941. My dad heard about the plane.We lived not to far from Lockeed. The plane seemed to move very slowly across the sky because it was so large. I can still remember it very clearly as it was yesterday, I was 8 years old

Phil, philh29=aol.om, 10.05.2014

We lived in Los Angeles, about 4 miles south of downtown. When the B-19 made its first flight - I believe it was June 27, 1941 - it flew from Santa Monica to March Field in Riverside. Imagine the thrill this 11 year old got when the plane flew almost directly over our home. This plane had Wright R-3350's. There was another XB-19A with Allison V-3420 engines.

Richard Eaton, rikeaton=gmail.com, 07.03.2014

My Great-Granddad was Maj. Stanley Umstead. The test pilot often seen with the cigar in his mouth. We still have a steering yoke from the B-19 in the family. I'll be thrilled to have it one day!

Ken Bloomhorst, bloomy832=comcast.net, 16.01.2014

As a kid growing up. I lived between Wright Field and Patterson Field. I remember the B-19 flying around the area many times. It was the largest plane at that time. It went very slow, I don't know how it remained airborne. I can remember my Mother being unhappy, every time it flew over, all of the dishes rattled in the cabinets.

Anthony Muldoon, Rockdoon=me.com, 09.08.2013

So a group of people I'm helping to restor a B25 think they have two blades off the prop of the xb19 because of there size and brand (cant think of the name) but they can't find any information on the blades

Rick Houpt, houptrl=gmail.com, 18.04.2013

One of the others who commented mentioned a ltter delivered on that 1st flight. I just unearthed one of those letters that was written by an uncle who worked for Douglas during that first flight and sent to my father. Wonderful piece of aero history.

Ned Chestnut, nkopportunity=gorge.net, 16.02.2013

My father, C.E. Chestnut, worked on building the B-19. We lived in Santa Monica, and When I was about 4 I recall we were allowed to watch the craft take it's first flight. This was a BIG day for all involved all around. I think of that day quite often. I would like to hear from others who were there that day, not many of us left on earth.

Lorin Heath, arlorheath=comcast.net, 09.01.2013

I was fortunate to see the original flight of the B-19 at Clover Field in Santa Monica. My Uncle was head of quality control for Douglas. His name was William C Hitt. He later started Automated Industries. He was a pioneer in Ultra Sound Testing for aircraft parts. (wing spars, etc.)

Fred Willis, fred.willf=comcast.net, 22.09.2012

I went to work for Douglas in October of 1940 in the development tooling department and well remember the first day I walked into the Douglas “Big Hanger” that had been built for construction of the B19. There was this monster airplane well along in construction but not yet on landing gear. I remember the take-off from Clover Field and a short hitch when the Air Corps Major pilot over controlled lift off but quickly got it right. My drawing board was on a balcony over the DC-3 fuselage assembly jigs. On return from army in 1945 I was lucky enough to become the tool engineer on the development of the NIKE, SPARROW and CORPORAL missiles and the X3 airplane.

Tom Stroebe, tstroebe=att.net, 06.04.2012

I received a letter from my Grandmother Helen B. Moody that was delivered on the B-19. The flight was from Clover Field, Santa Monica to San Francisco in 1941. I was 13 years old.....what a thrill

Jon Wagner, derlogi=yahoo.com, 23.09.2011

I went to see the B-19 land at March AFB in 1941 with my grandfather and dad when I was 5 years old

J. Gravlin, jgravli1=tampabay.rr.com, 21.05.2011

My father, Lester Gravlin, was a tool & dye designer for the B-19. In 1941 (I was 5)he took me to see the maiden flight.When they rolled it out of the hanger, it cracked the concrete and had to be put back until they could reinforce the runway. We went back when this had been done and saw the takeoff. It was huge.

Dave Phillips, dcphill=attglobal.net, 08.04.2011

When I was a young boy about 9 or 10 my father was a Captain in the Material Command at Wright or Patterson Air Base when we went to an air show with the B-19 on display and a Wright Brothers plane sitting on the wing tip of the B-19 celebrating the length of the first flight as being about the length of the B-19 wing. As I remember one of the Wright brothers was there to celebrate. What a sight to remember. Seems to me I saw one of the gigantic wheels from the landing gear of the B-19 on display at the Wright-Patterson Aircraft museum some years back.

Steve Singleton, ssngltn=aol.com, 24.01.2011

My Dad, Leon Singleton, now a healthy 99-yrs (born in 1911)was a mechanic on the B-19 at the Santa Monica plant. He helped train Rosie the Riveters (my Mother was one)and vividly recalls the aircraft, working on it and even taking a nap inside sometimes on lunch hour. He was in the crowd of Douglas employees in the photos of that first flight.

Ben Beekman, bbeekman=optonline.net, 12.01.2011

I was surprised to learn that the B-19 used eight Allison engines, paired two in each nacelle. Apparently the arrangement worked without any problems since nothing has been written concerning any. Curiously, during WW2 the Germans tried the same thing, mating two Daimler-Benz engines in each of two engine nacelles on the Heinkel He 177
"Greif" bomber.Due to the difficult aircraft specifications they had to meet, and the absence of 2,000+ horsepower engines, they were forced to mate the two powerplants to obtain the 2,750 h.p. necessary to turn each 4-blade propeller. The engine and nacelle design was cramped, with little space normally alloted for safety reasons, resulting in a "sardine can" arrangement. Engine manifold overheating would frequently cause in-flight oil fires in the close spaces with loss of the aircraft. After much discussion as to how to solve the problem, it was decided to replace the four engine-two nacelles design with four engines in four nacelles, each of which would provide ample space for safety. Credit has to be given to the Douglas engineering team for being able to accomplish with paired engines what the Germans at Heinkel were unable to do.

Richard Williams, rdw1931=gmail.com, 16.12.2010

I remember the B19 as a kid 13 only in magazines but had heard the cabin was used as a restuarant. We here locally also had one of its Engines out of our "Park Queen" Kaiser's "Hawaii Kai" It was a"W" engine, Two Allisons on a common crankcase geared together. Lots of accessories marked"MAYTAG".Dont know who actually built it??

Roy Nichols, ren1572=aol.com, 29.11.2010

I have a clored (10X16) photo of the B-19 parked in front of the hanger at Santa Monica. It has radial engines and it isn't a tail drager.

Todd, rtpetit=earthlink.net, 16.11.2010

To Don Bobzin: The B-19 was never a taildragger, but was designed and built as a tricycle gear aircraft. What you may be thinking of is the B-15 which was also a "technology testbed" type aircraft built by Boeing a little earlier than the B-19. It looked like an overgrown B-17 and was indeed a taildragger.

don bobzin, donstoropoo=gmail.com, 14.11.2010

original was a taildragger. does anyone have a picture?

1-20 21-40

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