|A Curtiss-XP-62 on the tarmac.|
|Primary user||United States Army Air Forces|
The Curtiss XP-62 was a prototype heavily armed, high-performance, single engine fighter aircraft built for the United States Army Air Corps by the Curtiss Wright Corporation. The terms of the contract, in accordance with a proposal of April 29, 1941, called for delivery of the first flight within the fifteen months of award, with a guaranteed maximum speed of 468 miles per hour at 27,000 feet. The aircraft was to feature an air-conditioned cockpit and either eight 20 mm cannon or twelve 0.50 inch machine guns. The first of two prototypes was designated XP-62 and the second XP-62A.
On August 2, 1941, the specifications were submitted for the XP-62 reducing the maximum speed to 448 mph with eight cannon armament and increasing the loaded weight by 1,537 lb. During a project review of January 1, 1942 under findings of a study that the loaded weight be reduced by eliminating four cannon and removal of the propeller anti-icing equipment. On May 25, 1942 a contract for 100 P-62 fighters was awarded, but on July 27, 1942 the contract was terminated as it would affect deliveries of urgently needed Curtiss-built P-47 Thunderbolts.
Delays in delivery of the unique pressure-cabin supercharger and engine modifications delayed the first flight of the XP-62 until July 21, 1943. The XP-62A was canceled on September 21, 1943 and only a limited amount of flight testing was conducted with the XP-62. Owing to its low priority work progressed slowly and in the autumn 1942 the XP-62 was scrapped. Because of the insuffucient flight testing, full performance charactistics were not obtained.
- Crew: 1
- Length: 39 ft 6 in (12.04 m)
- Wingspan: 53 ft 8 in (16.36 m)
- Height: 16 ft 3 in (4.95 m)
- Wing area: 420 ft² (39.0 m²)
- Empty weight: 11,773 lb (5,340 kg)
- Loaded weight: 14,660 lb (6,650 kg)
- Max takeoff weight: 16,651 lb (7,553 kg)
- Powerplant: 1× Wright R-3350-17 radial engine, 2,300 hp (1,700 kW)
- Maximum speed: 448 mph (389 knots, 721 km/h)
- Range: 1,500 mi (1,300 nm, 2,400 km)
- Service ceiling: 35,700 ft (10,900 m)
- Wing loading: 35 lb/ft² (171 kg/m²)
- Power/mass: 0.16 hp/lb (260 W/kg)
- Green, William (1961). War Planes of the Second World War - Fighters (Volume 4). London: Macdonald..
- XP-62 information, including a picture (from USAF Museum)
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