The Curtiss XF14C was an airplane developed by the Curtiss-Wright Corporation in response to a request by the U.S. Navy in 1941 to produce a new shipboard high-performance fighter aircraft powered by the Lycoming XH-2470 liquid-cooled engine. On June 30 1941 a contract for two prototype aircraft, designated the XF14C-1, was awarded. On the same date prototype development contracts were also awarded to Grumman Aircraft Engineering Corporation for the single engine XF6F-1 and the twin engine XF7F-1.
Early in the development the Navy requested better altitude performance and, in view of unsatisfactory progress in the development of the XH-2470 engine, Curtiss adapted the design of the aircraft around the new turbocharged Wright R-3350 Duplex-Cyclone engine. The aircraft equipped with this eighteen cylinder twin row radial air-cooled engine and three bladed contra-rotating propellers was designated the XF14C-2. The XF14C-1 was canceled. Also, looking at the problems of operation at altitudes of about 40,000 feet (12,000 m), the Navy also initiated work on a third version with a pressurized cockpit designated the XF14C-3.
Ultimately, only the XF14C-2 prototype was completed, flying for the first time in July 1944. Moreover, disappointment with performance estimates and delays with the availability of the XR-3350-16 engine coupled with the tactical need for an extremely high altitude fighter that failed to materialize led to cancellation of the development.
- Crew: one, pilot
- Length: 37 ft 9 in (11.5 m)
- Wingspan: 46 ft (14.0 m)
- Height: 12 ft 4 in (3.8 m)
- Wing area: 375 ft² (35 m²)
- Empty: 10,582 lb (4800 kg)
- Loaded: 13,405 lb (6080 kg)
- Maximum takeoff: 14,582 lb (6614 kg)
- Powerplant: Wright XR-3350-16 radial eighteen cylinder twin row air-cooled engine 2,300 hp (1.7 MW)
- Maximum speed: 317 mph (510 km/h) at sea level, 424 mph (682 km/h) at 32,000 ft (9,800 m)
- Range: 1,355 statute miles (2181 km) at 162 mph (260 km/h)
- Service ceiling: 39,500 ft (12,000 m)
- Initial rate of climb: 2,700 ft/min (820 m/min)
- four wing mounted 20 mm cannon
- William Green (1961). War Planes of the Second World War - Fighters, (Vol 4). London: MacDonald
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