Envisaged originally as a high-altitude version of the B-25 Mitchell, the North American NA-63 (XB-28) emerged finally as an almost entirely different aircraft. With single vertical tail surfaces and a circular-section fuselage with a pressure cabin for the five-man crew, the XB-28 was powered by two 1491kW Pratt & Whitney R-2800 radials and bomb bay capacity was 1814kg. Dorsal, ventral and tail turrets, each containing two 12.7mm machine-guns, were remotely controlled from the cockpit; three similar forward-firing weapons were also fitted. Of three prototypes ordered in February 1940, the first flew in April 1942, the second was cancelled and the third, with a reconnaissance camera installation, crashed during the test programme. Although the XB-28 achieved a maximum speed of 599km/h at 7620m and could carry a 272kg bomb load for 3283km, production orders were not placed.
|A three-view drawing (700 x 1053)|
| Take-off weight||16226 kg||35772 lb|
| Empty weight||11611 kg||25598 lb|
| Wingspan||22.12 m||73 ft 7 in|
| Length||17.20 m||56 ft 5 in|
| Wing area||62.80 m2||675.97 sq ft|
| Cruise speed||411 km/h||255 mph|
| Range||3284 km||2041 miles|
The main reason why this bomber was cancelled was because, as a result of combat experience, the Army Air Force found that they really didn't require a high-altitude medium bomber. The current B-25 and B-26 medium bombers were doing an adequate job, so there didn't seem to be any need to stop the production lines in order to change to a new type of bomber.
|phil marchese, 30.03.2014|
The turrets were sighted by a dorsal and ventral periscope located aft the cockpit at the rear of the forward flight deck. The position had sighting blisters port and starboard. The periscope can be seen in the 7/8 frontal starboard view, even with the sighting station.
Although the B-28 was never ordered into production, the experience NA gained in developing the pressurized, high-altitude crew's compartment for this aircraft proved invaluable later on, when they produced the B-45 Tornado.
I don't have any info on the XB 28, but I have several North American Logs and North American Skyline magazines from 1939 - 1941. One is illustrated and one is painted by "Al" Algier. The inside cover of the 1939 Log states that Mr. Algier was an artist engineer of North American Aviation, a graduate of Syracuse University, with a mechanical engineer's degree and the Pratt Institute of Art of New York. --In response to Nathan's question.
You can find drawing of this plane on a site Fineartamerica. com In works Alex Arkhipau
I have an original pencil concept drawing of this plane dated 1939. It was drawn by an Al Algiers - I haven't been able to find any information about him (who he was, his role in the development, etc.), but it is a neat piece of artwork either way. Any idea where I might find more information?
Do you have any comments about this aircraft ?