Douglas XB-43

1946

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Douglas XB-43

Anxious to speed the development of a pure jet bomber, the US Army Air Force contracted Douglas to produce two Douglas XB-43 bomber prototypes using the basic design of the XB-42. The proposed conversion was comparatively simple, replacing the XB-42's Allison piston engines with two turbojets and providing them with air inlets, incorporating two extended tail pipes to discharge the jet efflux at the tail, and replacing the cruciform tail unit with a conventional structure which, however, had a fin and rudder of increased height and area by comparison with the XB-42.

To save time it was decided to modify the XB-42 static test air-frame to produce the first XB-43. It was a short-cut plan doomed to disappointment, with seemingly endless delays resulting from the war's end and the provision of the turbojet powerplant. Eventually, the XB-43 was flown for the first time on 17 May 1946. By that time, however, and despite the prototype's good overall performance, the USAAF was already looking to much-more-capable turbojet-powered bombers. Thus this, the US Army Air Force's first jet-bomber, was used only for flight-test purposes. The second prototype was completed and delivered in May 1947, being used as an engine testbed before it was retired in late 1953.

3-View 
Douglas XB-43A three-view drawing (550 x 797)

Specification 
 MODELXB-43
 ENGINE2 x turbo-jet General Electric J35-GI-3, 16.7kN
 WEIGHTS
  Take-off weight17932 kg39533 lb
  Empty weight9877 kg21775 lb
 DIMENSIONS
  Wingspan21.69 m71 ft 2 in
  Length15.6 m51 ft 2 in
  Height7.39 m24 ft 3 in
  Wing area52.3 m2562.95 sq ft
 PERFORMANCE
  Max. speed829 km/h515 mph
  Cruise speed676 km/h420 mph
  Ceiling11735 m38500 ft
  Range1770 km1100 miles
 ARMAMENT2 x 12.7mm rear-firing guns, 2722kg of bombs

Douglas XB-43

Comments
Klaatu, e-mail, 31.05.2011 19:58

This jet-powered development of the B-42 made a lot more sense than it's pusher-engined predecessor. Too bad it wasn't available earlier. However, by the time this came along, the Air Force was already anticipating the introduction of North American's B-45 Tornado and Boeing's B-47 Stratojet, both of which offered a lot more operational potential.

reply

CAR, e-mail, 09.04.2011 14:43

That aircraft has a really beautiful shape.

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