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Author Topic: Douglas XB-43 Jetmaster  (Read 323 times)

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NobleNerd

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Douglas XB-43 Jetmaster
« on: October 08, 2019, 03:43:16 PM »

Once again, I'm exploring possibilities for 1946-scenario aircraft. In this case, I found something that fills a void in USAAF jet-powered ground attack capabilities. Unlike my first two requests, this aircraft was actually built, making its first flight in May of 1946. It also happens to be one of the ugliest aircraft I've ever seen.

There are some excellent blueprints, all of which are frustratingly locked behind secretprojects.co.uk's "you need an account to do that" stuff in order to share... If anyone here has a secretprojects account, I would really appreciate the help, and I'm sure the modders would too.















From militaryfactory:
Quote
Born from the XB-42 "Mixmaster" program - which sought a unique solution for a budget-conscious medium bomber platform alternative to the large and expensive Boeing B-29 "Superfortress" - the Douglas XB-43 "Jetmaster" was an evolved, jet-powered offshoot of the original design. The earlier XB-42 was powered by a pair of Allison inline engines arranged in a "pusher" setup at the rear of the aircraft which promoted speed gains over a traditional configuration. This left the forward / middle fuselage and wings clear of any mechanical obstructions and resulted in a more streamlined shape. At one point, the XB-42 was fitted with Westinghouse axial-flow turbojets which advanced it along altogether different lines. While neither design was adopted (two prototypes were completed), it did lay the foundation for the XB-43 which substituted the Westinghouse powerplants with a pair of General Electric J35 series engines. Two flyable XB-43 prototypes then emerged.

The XB-43 was more-or-less an add-on project to the in-development XB-42. The airframe proved feasible for the study of jet propulsion in a medium-sized bomber airframe so an agreement between the United States Army Air Force (USAAF) and Douglas Aircraft was had in March of 1944 with World War 2 (1939-1945) still ongoing. The aircraft resembled the XB-42 airframe on the whole while the inline engines were given up for the General Electric turbojets. Engineers added a pair of intakes along either side of the fuselage near the wingroots and exhaust ports took up the space where the propeller units once lay at the rear. The aircraft retained its single dorsal vertical tail fin (the ventral fin was deleted while the dorsal fin was enlarged), retractable tricycle undercarriage, and two-man cockpit arrangement. The nose section was glazed over for a bombardier's position bringing the operating crew total to three. Proposed defensive armament was 2 x 12.7mm heavy machine guns held in a remote-controlled tail turret though this was never fitted. The bomb load was to total 8,000 pounds. An attack variant (possibly designated as "A-43") was entertained that would have fitted multiple machine guns in the nose with the bombardier's position omitted and covered over. Additional weapons support in this version would have been added for underwing rockets.

Due to the limited availability of the GE J35 engines, the XB-43 product languished for several years before the aircraft could be flown. When fitted with its jets the aircraft suffered damage during ground running tests which saw one engine explode. A first flight was finally recorded on May 17th, 1946 but, by this time, World War 2 (1939-1945) had ended and many promising programs fell under the axe of the massive military drawdown that followed. The second prototype (given the developmental designation of "YB-43") followed in flyable form during 1947. The original J35 turbojets were then upgraded with J47 series engines.

The first prototype - s/n 44-61508 - was eventually cannibalized for its useful parts (to serve the second) and given up as a target. The second prototype - s/n 44-61509 managed a rather healthy test life until December of 1953. By this time, the now-USAF (the United States Army Air Force was renamed after World War 2) focused its energies on dedicated jet-powered bomber developments and not simply modified propeller-driven forms. This led to the cancellation of the XB-43 project in whole - the aircraft passed on for preservation to the National Museum of the United States Air Force (Dayton, Ohio).

As completed, the XB-43 exhibited a length of 15.7 meters, a wingspan of 21.7 meters, and a height of 7.4 meters. Its empty weight was 22,900 lb with a Maximum Take-Off Weight (MTOW) of 40,000 lb. Power was originally from 2 x General Electric J35-GE-3 turbojet engines of 4,000 lb thrust each. Maximum speed was recorded to be 507 miles per hour with a range out to 2,500 miles, and a service ceiling nearing 38,500 feet (requiring use of a pressurized crew cabin). Rate-of-climb reached 2,470 feet-per-minute.

From Wikipedia:
Quote
United States Army Air Forces (USAAF) leaders in the Air Materiel Command began to consider the possibilities of jet-propelled bombers as far back as October 1943. At that time, Douglas Aircraft was just beginning to design a promising twin-engine bomber designated the XB-42. Reciprocating engines powered this aircraft but they were buried in the fuselage, leaving the laminar flow-airfoil wing clean of any drag-inducing pylon mounts or engine cowlings. The airframe appeared ideally suited to test turbojet propulsion. Douglas confirmed the feasibility of the concept and the USAAF amended the XB-42 contract in March 1944 to include the development of two turbojet-powered XB-43 prototypes, reduced from an initial order of 13 test aircraft.

The Douglas design team convinced the Army that modifying the XB-42 static test airframe into the first XB-43 was a relatively straightforward process that would save time and money compared to developing a brand new design. Douglas replaced the two Allison V-1710 engines with a pair of General Electric (GE) J35 turbojets (the first American axial-flow jet engines ever used), then cut two air intakes into each side of the fuselage, aft of the pressurized cockpit. Removing the propellers and drive shafts freed enough space for two long jet exhaust ducts. Without any propellers present, there was no chance of striking the blade tips on the runway, so the entire ventral fin/rudder unit of the earlier XB-42's full four-surface cruciform tail was omitted. Douglas compensated for the loss of yaw stability by enlarging the dorsal fin/rudder unit.

Douglas Aircraft was keen to mass-produce the new bomber and the USAAF considered ordering 50. The company was poised to roll out as many as 200 B-43s per month in two versions: a bomber equipped with a clear plastic nose for the bombardier, and an attack aircraft without the clear nose and bombing station but carrying 16 forward-firing .50 in (12.7 mm) machine guns and 36 5 in (127 mm) rockets. Nothing came of these plans. The USAAF was already moving ahead with a new bomber, the XB-45 Tornado, designed from the outset for turbojet power and promising major improvement in every category of performance.


Specs:

Crew: 3 (2 for attack variant)
Length: 15.7m
Width: 21.7m
Height: 7.4m
Weight (empty): 10,380kg
Weight (MTOW): 18,000kg

Power: 2 x General Electric J35-GE-3 turbojet engines developing 4,000lb of thrust each

Speed: 815km/h
Ceiling: 11,700m
Range: 4,000km
RoC: 753m/min


In-Game Variants:
XB-43: Standard bomber variant
XA-43: Proposed attack variant with wing pylons for rockets and the bombardier position replaced with a series of MGs or cannons
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SAS~Storebror

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Re: Douglas XB-43 Jetmaster
« Reply #1 on: October 08, 2019, 10:51:59 PM »

locked behind secretprojects.co.uk's "you need an account to do that"
Why didn't you just register there?
It's free.
Took me less than a minute.

Here's a few pictures:











And a rather high resolution one of the XB-42, might serve a purpose as well:


]cheers[
Mike
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NobleNerd

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Re: Douglas XB-43 Jetmaster
« Reply #2 on: October 09, 2019, 09:26:14 AM »

Thank you. I didn't know if the site was as secure as this one, but I guess that's just me being paranoid.  :-X
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western0221

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Re: Douglas XB-43 Jetmaster
« Reply #3 on: October 09, 2019, 02:36:46 PM »

Interesting prototypes.

Its boxy style is cute.
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[FAC]Ghost129er

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Re: Douglas XB-43 Jetmaster
« Reply #4 on: October 10, 2019, 02:12:03 AM »

Reminds me of the He-178; me likely. 8)
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KingTiger503

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Re: Douglas XB-43 Jetmaster
« Reply #5 on: October 10, 2019, 02:33:36 AM »

Ya, It looks like a He-178,  the XB-43 Jetmaster, developed from XB-42 Mixmaster and the DC-8 Piston Airliner.

But the Project of the XB-42 was cancelled in 1948 due to Damage Rudder and Beyond Repair and It never Flew again.

And the YB-43 (XB-43) also Suffers a stability Issues and it does not enter Production.


Best Regards KT503
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hoddyman

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Re: Douglas XB-43 Jetmaster
« Reply #6 on: October 10, 2019, 07:39:18 AM »

The XB-43 Is really cool looking with it's twin cockpits (which were later replaced with a single wider one). I think a better choice for a plane in that era would have been the B-45 Tornado, which actually saw some service, post-war, and was the U.S.A.F's first operational jet bomber. Anyway, the XB-42, which looks just like the XB-43, except that it has a contra-rotating pair of propellers at the tail, and was, at one time early in it's prototype testing  considered for production instead of the B-29, because it had the speed and range necessary, at considerably less cost per plane. It also had considerably less bombload, and could never have carried the nukes, so it didn't happen.
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NobleNerd

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Re: Douglas XB-43 Jetmaster
« Reply #7 on: October 10, 2019, 06:00:13 PM »

1947 designs would be excellent too. I just hope we can justify including them in both WAW and TJA.

It wouldn't be too far-fetched to give the XB-43 some better stability than IRL. A few of the aircraft in the game already have little tweaks like this, the Kikka being a good example with its better in-game airspeed than IRL.

And to be fair, this is an alternate history we're talking about.  ;D
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