Boeing XP-925A

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Boeing XP-925A

ROCAF

Background

Spoiler

In August of 1931, Boeing made a change to the Boeing 218 engine and replaced it with a more powerful SR-1340C engine, boasting 450 horsepower. This upgraded model was then given the name XP-925A and was intended for export. During the same month, the Nanjing government purchased one of these XP-925A planes. It was transported to Shanghai Hongqiao for assembly towards the end of 1931 and was assigned the identification number X-66W. The former instructor of the Central Aviation Class, known as “Short,” was hired as a test pilot for this aircraft.

On January 28th, 1932, an unfortunate incident occurred when the newly assembled XP-925A was attacked by the Japanese army and became stranded in Shanghai. Witnessing the Japanese army’s indiscriminate killing of civilians during the war, Short was filled with a sense of righteous anger. In his diary, he expressed his desire to become like a Western gunman and use an airplane to deliver justice. Due to the repeated bombings at Hongqiao Airport, the XP-925A was flown to Nanjing for evacuation on February 19th.

During their journey, about 9 kilometers west of Nanxiang, Shanghai, they encountered three Type 3 Japanese aircraft returning from Suzhou, leading to an intense aerial battle. Short found himself at a disadvantage, facing three enemy planes and flying at a lower altitude. However, instead of trying to escape by accelerating, Short utilized the XP-295’s superior climbing performance to surpass the Japanese aircraft. He then seized the attack position and launched a sideways attack.

The battle raged on for approximately 20 minutes. Consequently, two Japanese planes had to make an emergency landing at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology Airport, while Short managed to safely reach Nanjing with both his crew and aircraft unharmed. This intense fight fueled Short’s determination to resist Japan, leading him to join the Chinese army and accompany their aircraft to defend Lanqiao in Hangzhou on the 20th afternoon. On February 22nd, Short followed our aircraft to Shanghai for an alert mission. However, due to thick clouds in Shanghai, no enemy was spotted and communication was lost. Short then flew straight to Suzhou and took the initiative to ask for assistance. This decision led to a collision with a division from the Japanese aircraft carrier “Kaga” over Suzhou, where Short engaged in a fierce battle against three Type 13s led by Captain Tanishin and three Type 3s led by Captain Nogiji Ikuta in his XP-925A. Unfortunately, he was outnumbered and his aircraft was ultimately destroyed, marking the XP-925A as the first plane shot down over China.

Short was the first foreign aviator to lose his life in the Sino-Japanese conflict in China. Following discussions with his mother, the Nationalist Government laid Short to rest in the Hongqiao Cemetery. At his funeral, half a million individuals in Shanghai bid him farewell in an impromptu gathering.

Technical Data

Specifications

Crew - 1

Length - 6.23 m

Height - 2.75 m

Wingspan - 9.14 m

Empty Weight - 896 kg

Gross Weight - 1,210 kg

Powerplant - 1 x Pratt & Whitney SR-1340C Radial Engine (330 kW)

Max Speed - 306 km/h

Service Ceiling - 8,840 m

Range - 940 km

Armament

2 x 7.62mm Browning Machine Guns (600 Rpg) [Only Configuration sold to China]

Images

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Sources

Spoiler

(Book) Encyclopedia of Chinese Aircraft, Vol.1 - Page 15 - 17

Boeing P-12 - Wikipedia

Boeing 218 - Pacific Eagles

The First of the Flying Tigers; Bob Short, the Hero of Suzhou - Military History - Military Matters

4 Likes

+1 for more biplanes

+1 for more interwar stuff, but also +1 just on the story of this thing alone

+1 for 1.0 tech tree plane