A great Fighter bomber. A little bit before its time. The Navy didn't want to launch P-51s off carriers to protect B-29s bombing Japan. They wanted their own fighter bomber. The range of the XF8B (2400 NM) would allow them to bomb Japan from 1000 miles away and return to the carrier. Jap fighters wouldn't be able to catch it at its top speed of 430 MPH. Only 3 planes were built (2 after the war). Tested by the USAF until 1950, they were outmoded by Jets, both fighters and bombers. I did not think this fighter was too big and it reminds me of a composite of all the great WW2 fighters (except for the counter rotating props). To me it looks like a Corsair, a P-51, and a P-47 all rolled into one.
steve, e-mail, 14.06.2012 00:40
Probably best thought of as a sort of single-engined Mosquito. That 1450kg bomb load comprised two 1600-lb AP bombs carried internally; i.e. with minimal drag - though two 1000-lb SAP (same volume) would likely have been a more useful weapon load. As an anti-ship weapon, it would have carried a bigger bombload than the TBF or SB2C, but with much higher performance, hence ability to penetrate defenses. However, the antiship mission largely faded with the end of the IJN as an effective force; the Soviet Navy posed a much different threat. The remaining attack mission was covered by the fighter-bombers on the one hand and the AD and AM on the other. And the fighter future belonged to the jets.
Klaatu83, e-mail, 09.06.2012 18:03
What do you get when you ask a manufacturer of airliners and bombers to build a fighter? You get a really BIG fighter, as shown here, far too big and unwieldy for the job. This single-seat fighter had the same wingspan, 3 feet more length, an empty weight 3000 lbs heavier, and a loaded weight more than a ton heavier, than the Grumman Avenger 3-seat torpedo bomber!
daxiong, 20.06.2011 07:12
Only the first prototype was completed and flown before the end of World War 11, but although the remaining two prototypes were completed and handed over after VJ-Day, the overriding interest in the development of turbine-engined aircraft meant that further test and evaluation of the XF8B-1s was abandoned.
, e-mail, 20.06.2011 07:11
Boeing XF8B 1944
JuJu McJippins, 02.05.2007 15:42
It's a bizarre looking thing....i'm sure it was practical...that damn jet age sure destroyed a few odd looking prop fighters bristling with contraprops and multi hardpoints (just look at the Skyshark!) the R-4360 with contra's must have sounded pretty unique.... perhaps a B-36 on one engine!
Rob Pastman, e-mail, 14.03.2007 01:16
Re: Boeing XF8B. Cooool. I'm an aviation buff and I have always had a soft spot for Boeing. Never even heard of the XF8B. And I thought I was a buff. I don't have a computer and use this one at my library. I just poke around until I find something good. The virtual air museum is great!! Have you seen Admiral U. Furashita's web site? It has links to alternate history sites. Check the one for the B-49 alternate history. Rob
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