The Boeing F8B was developed during World War II to provide the U.S. Navy a long-range shipboard fighter aircraft for operation against the Japanese home islands from aircraft carriers outside the range of Japanese land-based aircraft. It was intended for various roles including interceptor, long-range escort fighter, dive-bomber, and torpedo bomber.
The XF8B-1 was, at the time, the largest and heaviest single-seat, single-engine fighter developed in the U.S.A. It was powered by a single twenty eight cylinder Pratt & Whitney XR-4360-10 3,000 hp (2.2 MW) radial air-cooled engine that drove two contra-rotating three blade propellors. The proposed armament for the aircraft included six 0.50 inch (12.7 mm) or six 20 mm wing mounted guns and carry a 6,400 lb (2,900 kg) bomb load or two 2,000 lb (900 kg) torpedoes.
The development of three prototypes began in May 1943, only one was completed before the war ended and the other two were delivered after the war. One aircraft was evaluated by the U.S. Army Air Force.
Specifications (Boeing XF8B-1)
- Crew: one, pilot
- Length: 43 ft 3 in (13.1 m)
- Wingspan: 54 ft (16.5 m)
- Height: 16 ft 3 in (5.0)
- Wing area: 489 ft² (45.4 m²)
- Empty: 13,519 lb (6,132 kg)
- Loaded: 20,508 lb (9,302 kg)
- Maximum takeoff: 21,691 lb (9,839 kg)
- Powerplant: Pratt & Whitney XR-4360-10 28-cylinder radial, 3,000 hp (2,240 kW)
- Maximum speed: 340 mph (550 km/h)
- Range: miles ( km)
- Service ceiling: 37,500 ft (11,400 m)
- Rate of climb: 2,800 ft/min (850 m/min) initial
- Wing loading: kg/m² ( lb/ft²)
- Power/mass: 0.15 hp/lb (0.24 kW/kg)
- 6× 0.50 in (12.7 mm) or 6× 20 mm wing mounted guns
- 6,400 lb (2900 kg) bomb load or 2× 2,000 lb (900 kg) torpedoes
- Green, William (1961). War Planes of the Second World War - Fighters (Vol 4). London: Macdonald.
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