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The Convair XB-53 was a proposed jet-powered medium bomber aircraft, designed by Convair for the United States Army Air Forces. With a radical tailless, forward-swept wing design, the aircraft appeared futuristic; however, the project was canceled before either of the two prototypes were completed.
Design and development
The project was originally designated XA-44 in 1945 under the old "attack" category. An unusual forward-swept wing-design powered by three J35-GE turbojets, the project was developed in parallel with Convair's XB-46. It would have a wing with a 30Â° forward-sweep and 8Â° dihedral that was borrowed from German wartime research. The swept-forward configuration would give the aircraft a greater climb rate and maneuverability. It looked promising enough at one point for the Army Air Force to consider canceling the XB-46 in favor of the XA-44, since there was not enough funding for both.
Classified as a medium bomber, the XB-53 would have carried up to 12,000 pounds of bombs as well as 40 High Velocity Aerial Rockets (HVAR) mounted on underwing pylons.
Convair argued for completion of the XB-46 prototype as a flying testbed, without armament and other equipment, and with the substitution of two XA-44s for the other two B-46 airframes on contract. The Air Force ratified this in June 1946 but the project did not progress, nor were additional B-46s built. The XA-44 was redesignated XB-53 in 1948 when the "attack" category was dropped, but the project was canceled before the two prototypes were completed. The XA-44 program was reinstated in February 1949 but only for a short while.
Specifications (XB-53 estimated)
Data from General characteristics
- Crew: four
- Length: Script error: No such module "convert".
- Wingspan: Script error: No such module "convert".
- Height: Script error: No such module "convert".
- Wing area: Script error: No such module "convert".
- Empty weight: Script error: No such module "convert".
- Max takeoff weight: Script error: No such module "convert".
- Powerplant: 3 Ã General Electric J35 turbojets, Script error: No such module "convert". thrust each
- Maximum speed: Script error: No such module "convert".
- Service ceiling: Script error: No such module "convert".</ul>Armament
- Bombs: Script error: No such module "convert".
- Related lists
- "Fact sheet: Convair XB-53." National Museum of the US Air Force. Retrieved: 23 May 2010.
- Jones 1974, p. 1980â1982.
- Andrade, John M. U.S. Military Aircraft Designations and Serials since 1909. Earl Shilton, Leicester: Midland Counties Publications, 1979. ISBN 0-904597-22-9.
- Jones, Lloyd S. U.S. Bombers, B-1 1928 to B-1 1980s. Fallbrook, California: Aero Publishers, 1962, second edition 1974. ISBN 0-8168-9126-5.
- Knaack, Marcelle Size. Encyclopedia of U.S. Air Force Aircraft and Missile Systems, Volume II - Post-World War II Bombers 1945-1973. Washington, D.C.: Office of Air Force History, USAF, 1988. ISBN 0-912799-59-5.
- Wagner, Ray. American Combat Planes - Second Edition. Garden City, New York: Doubleday and Company, 1968. ISBN 0-370-00094-3.
|40x40px||Wikimedia Commons has media related to Convair XB-53.|
- Convair XB-53, from USAF Museum
- Convair XB-53, from "Aviation Enthusiast Corner" (has drawing at bottom of page)
- Fantastic Plastic model of the Convair XB-53