Douglas XB-42 (Prototype #2)

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Douglas XB-42

Prototype #2

USAF

Background

Spoiler

The Douglas XB-42 was a private project by the manufacturer, not in response to any official requirement. In 1943, Douglas designer Ed F. Burton led a study funded by the company to design a twin-engined bomber with a top speed over 400 mph, carrying a 2000-pound bombload within a 2000-mile radius. The concept involved placing engines within the fuselage and using a clean wing design. An unsolicited proposal was submitted to the USAAF in May 1943, leading to a contract for two flying prototypes and one static test airframe on June 25, 1943. Initially an attack aircraft, it was designated XA-42, later changed to XB-42 on November 26, 1943. Progress under Ed Burton and Carlos C. Wood advanced rapidly, with the mockup approved in September 1943.

The first XB-42 plane (43-50224) was finished in May 1944. It had a successful first flight on May 6, 1944, over Palm Springs Army Air Base. The XB-42 performed well, meeting or exceeding expectations in speed, range, and rate of climb. It was faster than the Mosquito B.XVI and could carry a heavier bombload. However, there were some issues with communication between pilots, yaw, propeller vibration, control forces, and cooling duct efficiency.

The second prototype of the XB-42 (43-50225) took its maiden flight on August 1, 1944, with V-1710-129 engines. Following its initial flight, the dual bug-eye canopies were replaced with a single canopy, as planned for the production models. By early December 1945, 43-50225 was flown from Long Beach, California to Bolling Field near Washington, D.C. at an average speed of 433.6 mph. Unfortunately, on December 16th, the aircraft crashed close to Bolling Field and was completely destroyed. Thankfully, the crew successfully parachuted to safety.

Technical Data

Specifications

Crew - 3

Length - 16.34 m

Wingspan - 21.52 m

Height - 5.74 m

Empty Weight - 9,475 kg

Max Takeoff Weight - 16,648 kg

Powerplant - 2 x Allison V-1710-129 Liquid Cooled V-12 Engines (1,300 kW each)

Max Speed - 621 km/h

Rate of Climb - 5.3 m/s

Range - 2,897 km

Service Ceiling - 8,961 m


Armament

2 x 12.7mm Browning Machine Guns

Maximum Bombload - 8,000 lb (3,600 kg)

4 x 2,000 lb Bombs

Up to 8,000 lb in bombs.

(Defensive) 2 x 12.7mm Browning Machine Guns located on both side of the plane in the wing struts. (25/25 Side/Side, +30-15 Up/Down)

Images

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Sources

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Douglas XB-42 Mixmaster

Douglas XA-42 | This Day in Aviation

Douglas XB-42 Mixmaster Attack Bomber | Old Machine Press

(Book) Encyclopedia of U.S. Air Force Aircraft and Missile Systems, Volume II, Post-World War II Bombers 1945-1973,

3 Likes

it looks very interesting and i would love to fly it! +1

The placement of the defensive guns is not something I’ve seen before. Very cool!

1 Like

+1

It flies and has guns, what more could you ask for? +1 :)))

+1

There’s also the XB-42A (prototype #1 which was upgraded with a pair of Westinghouse J30 turbojets under the wings). This boosted the top speed to 785 km/h.

Please add both, Gaijin.

Spoiler


XB-42-04


1 Like