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BOEING XF8B
Design & Development

The XF8B-1 was, at the time, the largest and heaviest single-seat, single-engine fighter developed in the United States. Boeing called the XF8B-1 optimistically, the "five-in-one fighter" (fighter, interceptor, dive bomber, torpedo bomber, or level bomber). It was powered by a single 3,000 hp (2,200 kW) Pratt & Whitney XR-4360-10 four-row 28-cylinder radial engine, driving two three-bladed contra-rotating propellers. It would be the largest single-seat piston fighter to fly in the U.S. to date. The large wings featured outer sections which could fold vertically, while the fuselage incorporated an internal bomb bay and large fuel tanks; more fuel could be carried externally. The proposed armament included six 0.50 inch (12.7 mm) machine guns or six 20 mm wing-mounted cannons, and a 6,400 lb (2,900 kg) bomb load or two 2,000 lb (900 kg) torpedoes. The final configuration was a large but streamlined design, featuring a bubble canopy, sturdy main undercarriage that folded into the wings, and topped by a variation on the B-29 vertical tail.

Boeing XF8B WRG# 0016689
[Source: NMNA]

The contract for three prototypes (BuNos 5798457986) was awarded 4 May 1943, although only one was completed before the war ended. It first flew in November 1944. The two remaining prototypes were completed after the war, with the third (BuNo 57986) evaluated at Eglin Air Force Base by the United States Army Air Forces.


Sources:
Wikipedia
Green, William - War Planes Of The Second World War - Fighters - Vol. 4, 1964, Doubleday & Co., Inc., NY

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