Category Archives: Postwar

Postwar

Martin XB-51 (Anigrand, Resin)

TYPE: Ground attack aircraft

ACCOMMODATION: Pilot and operator/navigator

POWER PLANT: Three × General Electric J-47-GE-13 turbojet engines, rated at 2,700 kp each

PERFORMANCE: 645 mph

COMMENT: In early 1945, USAAF issued requirement for a new attack bomber for low-level bombing and close support as a successor to the Douglas A-26 Invader. Martin Company proposed its design and won the competition with designation, XA-45. Soon later USAAF revised its requirement for better close-support bombing. Martin accepted the new requirement and was received contract for two prototypes, the project was redesignated XB-51. The first XB-51 made its first flight on Oct 1949. The aircraft was powered by three jet engines: one at the extreme tail with an intake at the base of the tailfin, and two underneath the forward fuselage in pods. The innovative, variable incidence wings were swept at 35° and with 6° anhedral. The main landing gear consisted of dual sets of wheels in tandem in the fuselage with outrigger wheels at the wingtips. Crew provision was for a pilot under a “fighter”-type bubble canopy and for an operator/navigator in a compartment located lower than and to the rear of the cockpit. It became the fastest ground support bomber at the time. Although test flights were satisfying Martin XB-51 never went into production. Noteworthy is the fact that the design can be traced back to a German WWII-project Messerschmitt Me P.1102/105 that was to be powered by three Heinkel-Hirth HeS-109-011 turbo-engines, one in the extreme tail and two in pods under the extreme forward fuselage and provided with variable-sweep wings, too (Ref.: 24)

Curtiss XP-87 Blackhawk (Anigrand, Resin)

TYPE: All-weather, high-altitude fighter

ACCOMODATION: Pilot and radar-operator

POWER PLANT: Four Westinghouse J34-WE-7 turbojet engines, rated at 1,360 kp. thrust each

PERFORMANCE: 520 mph at 30,000 ft

COMMENT: The XF-87 was the last aircraft built by Curtiss Aircraft. The specification originally called for a twin-engine, single-seat fighter, which evolved into an attack aircraft (XA-43) and finally to a quad-jet, twin-place, all-weather, high-altitude fighter. Two prototype XF-87s were built, the second of which was modified to the sole XF-87A. The XF-87 was designed for an innovative nose turret capable of swiveling in a wide arc around the axis of flight; however, the turret was never actually installed on the XF-87. The very large fighter was severely underpowered by four J34 turbojets and was redesigned for two J47 turbojets (XF-87A). A production order for 58 XF-87As and 30 RF-87s was canceled before any aircraft were constructed (Ref.: 23).