General Aviation XFA-1
1932
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General Aviation XFA-1

Designed to meet a lightweight shipboard fighter requirement in competition with the Berliner-Joyce XFJ-1 and Curtiss XF9C-1, the XFA-1 was built by the General Aviation Corporation, the successor to the US Fokker Aircraft Corporation, and was tested by the US Navy in March 1932. Powered by a 400hp Pratt & Whitney R-985A Wasp Junior engine, the XFA-1 was a single-bay staggered biplane with the upper wing gulled into the fuselage. It employed all-metal construction with fabric skinning for wing and tail surfaces, proposed armament being two fuselage-mounted 7.62mm machine guns. The XFA-1 was not notably successful during Navy trials and further development was discontinued.

3-View 
General Aviation XFA-1A three-view drawing (1673 x 1360)


Specification 
 WEIGHTS
    Take-off weight1138 kg2509 lb
    Empty weight833 kg1836 lb
 DIMENSIONS
    Wingspan7.77 m26 ft 6 in
    Length6.75 m22 ft 2 in
    Height2.82 m9 ft 3 in
    Wing area16.26 m2175.02 sq ft
 PERFORMANCE
    Max. speed273 km/h170 mph
    Range603 km375 miles

Comments
Klaatu83, 27.07.2014

Note: although the Navy did purchase a small number of Curtiss F9C "Sparrowhawk" fighters in preference to the XFA-1, they were little used on aircraft carriers. For that role the Navy preferred the Boeing F4B and Curtiss F11C "Goshawk", both of which were larger but had better performance.

Instead, the Curtiss F9C fighters were relegated to use as "parasite" fighters, deployed from the airships USS Akron and USS Macon. However, neither of those "flying aircraft carriers" lasted very long, both crashing into the ocean within two years of their commissioning. After that the Navy had no further use for the remaining F9C "Sparrowhawks", which were declared obsolete and placed in storage. One still survives as a museum display.

Klaatu83, 27.07.2014

Although this airplane was produced by the successor to Fokker's U.S. subsidiary, it's design clearly owed little or nothing to Fokker's influence. Apart from everything else it was fabricated out of metal while, at that time, Fokker's aircraft were constructed largely out of wood. Unfortunately, the Navy preferred a fighter produced by Boeing, the F4B.

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