Curtiss XB-2 Condor
|BOMBER||Virtual Aircraft Museum / USA / Curtiss|
In development at the same time as the Keystone XB-1, the Curtiss XB-2 was quite similar but proved to be the superior aircraft. Like the Keystone design, the XB-2 also mounted dual Lewis guns in turrets located in the rear of the engine nacelles.
A crew of five was carried by this bomber with a performance rating that placed it far above any planes in its class. Testing of the XB-2 began in September, 1927, and though the qualities were superior to competing types, the higher cost of the B-2 resulted in a limited production order of only 12 planes in June, 1928. The first B-2 was delivered in May, 1929.
In view of the excellent performance of the Condor, it is interesting to note the biplane tail assembly used. Production B-2's were the first aircraft of the type to incorporate tail wheels instead of the skid which assisted in braking, but was also responsible for structural failures.