XB43
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Jets45 Histories

Douglas XB-43/YB-43 "Jetmaster"

    Bomber
The first XB-43 (44-61508)

Specification for 44-61508
    Engine: 2x General Electric J-35-GE-3 turbojets @ 4,000 lb of thrust each
    Wing Span: 71' 2''
    Length: 51' 5''
    Height: 24' 3''
    Weight: Empty 21,755 lb / Loaded 39,553 lb
    Maximum Speed: 515 mph
    Ceiling: 41,800'
    Range: 2,480 miles
    Crew: 3
    Armament: none
History:

The XB-43 was a development of the XB-42, dating from 1943, intended to replace the Douglas A-26 Invader. It was America's first jet bomber with a contract being issued on 31/3/1944 for two prototypes (44-61508/9). two versions were planned, a bomber with a 6,000 lb load and a attack aircraft fitted with 16 x 0.50'' machine guns and 35 x 5'' rockets, both version were to be fitted with a remote controlled tail turret armed with 2x 0.50'' guns. The new jet engines were fitted were the XB-42's Allison piston engines had been, with the intakes just behind the cockpit and exhausting through two long pipes ending at the tail.

The first prototype took to the air on 17/5/1946,with Bob Brush and Russell Thaw at the controls, the flight tests showed good performance but it was hampered by a number of troublesome handling characteristics. But by this time the USAAF had decided not to order the production version the B-43, favoring the four engined B-45.

 
The second XB-43 (44-61509)

A second aircraft (44-61509) was delivered to the USAAF in May 1947, it would be used for a engine test bed for various power plants, with one of it's engines being replaced by a General Electric J47 turbojet. This aircraft was kept flying until late 1953 by cannibalizing the first XB-43 which was damaged in an accident on 1/2/1951 for spare parts. The XB-43 was one of the few aircraft to be powered by both piston and jet engines.

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