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The Curtiss XF14C was a 1940s United States naval fighter aircraft. It was developed by the Curtiss-Wright Corporation in response to a request by the United States Navy in 1941 to produce a new shipboard high-performance fighter aircraft.
Design and development
In 1941 the US Navy requested a better-performing carrier-based fighter plane, to be powered by the proposed high performance 24-cylinder liquid cooled Lycoming XH-2470 Hyper engine. This was an unusual step for the Navy, which had been adamant to that time that all its aircraft use air-cooled radial engines.
On June 30, 1941 a contract for two prototype aircraft, designated the XF14C-1, was awarded to the Curtiss-Wright company. On the same date prototype development contracts were also awarded to Grumman Aircraft Engineering Corporation for the single-engine XF6F-1 and the twin engine XF7F-1, both of which would use air-cooled Pratt & Whitney R-2800 Double Wasp radial engines.
Early in the development the Navy requested better altitude performance and, in view of unsatisfactory progress in the development of the XH-2470 engine, Curtiss adapted the design of the aircraft around the new turbocharged Wright R-3350 Duplex-Cyclone air-cooled radial engine. The aircraft equipped with this eighteen-cylinder twin-row radial air-cooled engine and three bladed contra-rotating propellers was designated the XF14C-2. The XF14C-1 was canceled. Also, looking at the problems of operation at altitudes of about 40,000 feet (12,000 m), the Navy also initiated work on a third version with a pressurized cockpit designated the XF14C-3.
Ultimately, only the XF14C-2 prototype was completed, flying for the first time in July 1944. Moreover, disappointment with performance estimates and delays with the availability of the XR-3350-16 engine coupled with the evaporating tactical need for an extremely high-altitude fighter led to cancellation of the development.
Data from Curtiss Aircraft 1907–1947General characteristics
- Crew: one
- Length: 37 ft 9 in (11.5 m)
- Wingspan: 46 ft (14.02 m)
- Height: 17 ft (5.18 m)
- Wing area: 375 ft² (34.83 m²)
- Empty weight: 10,531 lb (4,777 kg)
- Max. takeoff weight: 14,950 lb (6,781 kg)
- Powerplant: 1 × Wright XR-3350-16 eighteen cylinder twin row air-cooled radial engine, 2,300 hp (1,716 kW)
- Maximum speed: 418 mph (363 knots, 673 km/h) at 32,000 ft (9,800 m)
- Cruise speed: 172 mph (150 knots, 277 km/h)
- Range: 1,530 mi (1,330 nmi, 2,462 km)
- Service ceiling: 39,800 ft (12,100 m)
- Rate of climb: 2,700 ft/min (13.7 m/s)</ul>Armament
- Guns: 4 × wing mounted 20 mm cannon (planned)
- Related lists
|40x40px||Wikimedia Commons has media related to Curtiss XF14C.|
- Bowers 1979, p. 440.
- Bowers, Peter M. Curtiss Aircraft, 1907-1947. London, UK: Putnam & Company Ltd., 1979. ISBN 0-370-10029-8.
- Green, William. War Planes of the Second World War - Fighters, vol. 4. London, UK: MacDonald, 1961. ISBN 0-356-01448-7.
- Green, William and Swanborough, Gordon. WW2 Aircraft Fact Files: US Navy and marine Corps Fighters. London, UK: Macdonald and Jane's Publishers Ltd., 1976. ISBN 0-356-08222-9.