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Lockheed XP-49

From PlaneSpottingWorld, for aviation fans everywhere
Type Fighter
Manufacturer Lockheed
Designed by Clarence Johnson
Maiden flight 1942-11-11
Status Cancelled
Number built 1

The Lockheed XP-49 was an advancement on the P-38 for a fighter in response to U.S. Army Air Corps proposal 39-775 that was equipped with the new Pratt & Whitney X-1800 twenty-four cylinder engine. Assigned model number 522 by Lockheed, this proposal, which was for an aircraft substantially similar to the P-38, was evaluated first place and was assigned the designation XP-49, while the Grumman Model G-46 was awarded second place and designated XP-50.

Ordered in October 1939 under a contract approved on January 8, 1940, the X-1800 powered XP-49 would feature a pressurized cockpit and armament of two 20 mm cannon and four 0.5 inch (12.7 mm) machine guns. However, after two months into the contract a decision was made to substitute the Continental XI-1430-1 twelve cylinder liquid-cooled inverted vee engines for the X-1800. The XP-49 first flew on November 11, 1942. But, after a crash landing in early January 1943 occurred when the port landing gear failed to lock down due to a combined hydraulic and electric failure. The XP-49 flew again on February 16, 1943 after repairs were made. The preliminary flight data showed that performance of the XP-49 was not sufficiently better than the then production P-38, and with a questionable future for the XI-1430 engine, to warrant disruption of the production line to introduce the new model aircraft. Consideration of quantity production was therefore abandoned.

The aircraft was flown to Wright Field, and after various problems further work on the XP-49 was halted.

Specifications (XP-49)

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  • William Green (1961). War Planes of the Second World War - Fighters, (Vol 4). London: MacDonald

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