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Douglas XB-19 — laboratory for very heavy bombers

7 May 2014

Douglas XB-19 — laboratory for very heavy bombers

Douglas XB-19 — San Diego Air  Space Museum archive photo

Douglas XB-19, note the immense main landing gear wheel assemblies which were needed for the 140,000 lb/~63,636kg all up weight — San Diego Air Space Museum archive photo

Douglas built the XB-19 for the U.S. Army Air Corps to test large aircraft construction techniques as well as their flight characteristics. Range with a 6000 pound/~2727kg bomb load was a respectable 7300 miles/11,680km. Intercepting fighters would have respected its defensive armament with its 2 x 37mm cannon, 5 x 0.50 caliber machine guns as well as 6 x 0.30 caliber machine guns — requiring a crew of up to 18! Only one was built and it served from 1941 through 1949 as a cargo aircraft upon flight testing completion.

Douglas XB-19 — San Diego Air  Space Museum archive photo

Douglas XB-19’s Number Three Wright R-3350 radial engine running with the flight deck, nose position and bombardier’s position in view — San Diego Air Space Museum archive photo

Douglas XB-19 — San Diego Air  Space Museum archive photo

Douglas XB-19 in flight with its 132 foot/40m length and 212 foot/~62.25m wingspan. — San Diego Air Space Museum archive photo

Douglas XB-19 — San Diego Air  Space Museum archive photo

Douglas XB-19 in early WW II bare metal, striped rudder and star with red circle center — San Diego Air Space Museum archive photo

Douglas XB-19 — San Diego Air  Space Museum archive photo

Douglas XB-19 in later WW II olive drab — San Diego Air Space Museum archive photo

Douglas XB-19 — San Diego Air  Space Museum archive photo

Douglas XB-19 and note the two dorsal gun turrets — San Diego Air Space Museum archive photo

Note: here is the XB-19 fact sheet from the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force.

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7 Comments leave one →
  1. 8 May 2014 10:50

    Once again a great aircraft scrapped 😦

    • travelforaircraft permalink*
      8 May 2014 18:25

      I really didn’t find any information on this aircraft except what was in Wikipedia and I ran across it by chance just a bit ago.

      • 8 May 2014 21:24

        I am surprised it was operated for so many years, yet so little is known about it

      • travelforaircraft permalink*
        9 May 2014 19:21

        True. Odd how some slide into history’s dusty and forgotten corners.

      • 9 May 2014 19:24

        On another note are you going to the Memorial Day Fly in at Wings over Miami?

      • travelforaircraft permalink*
        9 May 2014 19:35

        I will just miss that one but for a good reason — send an email address to me at travelforaircraft@gmail.com for the story 🙂

      • 9 May 2014 19:50

        will do

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