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XB-38 Flying Fortress: Wikis


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XB-38 Flying Fortress
Role Strategic bomber
Manufacturer Boeing
First flight 19 May 1943
Retired 16 June 1943
Status Cancelled
Primary user United States Army Air Force
Number built 1
Developed from B-17 Flying Fortress

The XB-38 Flying Fortress was a prototype United States bomber aircraft of World War II.


Design and development

The XB-38 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 liquid-cooled Allison V-1710-89 inline engines. It was meant as an improved version of the B-17, and a variant that could be used if air-cooled Wright R-1820 radial engines became scarce. Completing the modifications took less than a year, and the XB-38 made its first flight on May 19, 1943. Only one prototype was built, and it was developed from an existing B-17 bomber.

While the XB-38 delivered a slightly higher top speed, after a few flights it had to be grounded due to a problem with engine manifold joints leaking exhaust gases. 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 was canceled, in part because the V-1710 engines were needed for other projects such as the P-38 Lightning, P-39 Airacobra, P-40 Warhawk, P-51A Mustang and P-63 Kingcobra fighter aircraft.


 United States

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 (1,063 kW) each



See also

Related development

Related lists





  • Jones, Lloyd S. U.S. Bombers, B-1 1928 to B-1 1980s. Fallbrook, CA: Aero Publishers, 1962, second edition 1974. ISBN 0-8168-9126-5.

External links


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