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XB-38 Flying Fortress

From PlaneSpottingWorld, for aviation fans everywhere
B-38 Flying Fortress
Type Strategic bomber
Manufacturer Boeing
Maiden flight 19 May 1943
Retired 16 June 1943
Status Cancelled
Primary user U.S. Army Air Force
Number built 1
Developed from B-17 Flying Fortress

The XB-38 Flying Fortress was a prototype US bomber aircraft of World War II. It was the result of a modification project undertaken by Boeing and Vega (a subsidiary of Lockheed) on a B-17 Flying Fortress to fit it with Allison V-1710-89 engines. It was meant as an improved version of the B-17, and a variant that could be used if the Wright R-1820 engine became scarce. Completing the modifications took less than a year, and the XB-38 made its first flight on May 19 1943.

While it showed a slightly higher top speed, after a few flights it had to be grounded due to a problem with engine manifold joints leaking exhaust. Following the fixing of this problem, testing continued until the ninth flight on June 16 1943. During this flight, the third (right inboard) engine caught fire, and the crew was forced to bail out. The XB-38 was destroyed and the project cancelled, in part because the V-1710 engines were needed for other projects, especially the vital P-38 Lightning and P-40 Warhawk fighters.

Specifications (XB-38)

General characteristics

  • Crew: 10
  • Length: 74 ft 4 in (22.7 m)
  • Wingspan: 103 ft 10 in (31.6 m)
  • Height: 19 ft 1 in (5.8 m)
  • Wing area: 1527 ft² (141.9 m²)
  • Empty weight: 54,900 lb (24,900 kg)
  • Loaded weight: 62,134 lb (28,183 kg)
  • Max takeoff weight: 64,000 lb (29,000 kg)
  • Powerplant:Allison V-1710-97 turbosupercharged liquid-cooled V12 engines, 1,425 hp (895 kW) each



References and external links

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