Curtiss XP-62


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Curtiss XP-62

The Curtiss XP-62 was the final propeller-driven fighter built by its manufacturer and the second largest single-seat fighter of orthodox layout developed during World War II, its dimensions being exceeded only by the Boeing XF8B naval fighter. The XP-62 was ordered by the USAAF on 27 June 1941 as a vehicle for the 1715kW Wright R-3350 radial engine. Initial plans called for delivery of one XP-62 and one XP-62A and later for 100 production P-62 fighters, but it was clear almost from the beginning that the design was overweight, underpowered, and an uneconomical alternative to continued Curtiss production of the P-47G Thunderbolt. Because it would be an effective testbed for dual-rotation propellers and a pressurized cabin, it was decided on 18 July 1942 to proceed with a sole airframe, the remaining machines on order being cancelled.

Development of the XP-62's cabin pressurisation system was delayed and the aircraft did not fly until early 1944. By then even the XP-62's value as a test ship was marginal and the programme was terminated after a few hours' flying time. Though the unbuilt XP-71 and the jet XF-87 still lay ahead, the great days of Curtiss as a leading fighter manufacturer were now to become history.


Once production plans were scrapped the XP-62 was mainly used to test a new contra-rotating propeller.

The XP-62 lost all resemblance to its P-40 predecessors and in fact had more in common with the SB2C Heildiver dive-bomber.

Between design and firsr flight, fighter development had moved on. The heavily framed canopy and poor reai view were old hat by 1944.

Proposed armament was four or eight 20mm cannon in the wings, although this was never fitted.

Curtiss XP-62A three-view drawing (1280 x 930)

  Take-off weight6640 kg14639 lb
  Empty weight5340 kg11773 lb
  Wingspan16.36 m54 ft 8 in
  Length12.04 m40 ft 6 in
  Height4.95 m16 ft 3 in
  Wing area39.02 m2420.01 sq ft
  Max. speed720 km/h447 mph
  Ceiling10800 m35450 ft
  Range1140 km708 miles

Curtiss XP-62

lee desilet, e-mail, 15.05.2008 21:36

It reminds me of the Curtis SB2C dive bomber used in WW11..\\Is this a predecesssor of that airplance?


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