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Curtiss XF15C

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XF15C
Role

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National origin

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Manufacturer

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First flight

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Number built

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The Curtiss XF15C-1 was a mixed-propulsion fighter prototype of the 1940s.

Development

By the late 1940s, the United States Navy was interested in the mixed-power concept for its shipborne fighters - i.e. aircraft with a mixture of propellor and turbojet engines, such as the FR Fireball. As such, an order was placed with Curtiss on 7 April 1944 for delivery of three mixed-power aircraft, designated the F15C. Powered by both a 2,100 hp (1,566 kW) Pratt & Whitney propellor engine, and an Allis-Chalmers J36 turbojet, the aircraft was in theory the fastest fighter in the US Navy at that time.

Operational history

The first flight of the first prototype was on 27 February 1945, without the turbojet installed. When this was completed in April of the same year, the aircraft flew several mixed-power trials, however on May 8 it crashed on a landing approach. The second prototype flew for the first time on 9 July, again in 1945, and was soon followed by a third prototype. Both aircraft showed promise, however by October 1946 the Navy had lost interest in the mixed-power concept and cancelled further development.

Survivors

XF15C-1
Of the two remaining prototypes of this unusual aircraft, one was scrapped after the Second World War, and the other remained in storage until it was released by the US Navy to be a museum piece. It is now located at the Quonset Air Museum in North Kingstown, Rhode Island.

Specifications

General characteristics

  • Crew: 1
  • Length: 44 ft 0 in (13.41 m)
  • Wingspan: 48 ft 0 in (14.63 m)
  • Height: 15 ft 3 in (4.65 m)
  • Wing area: 37.16 ft2 (400 m2)
  • Empty weight: 12,648 lb (5,739 kg)
  • Gross weight: 16,630 lb (7,543 kg)
  • Powerplant: 1 × Pratt & Whitney R-2800-34W 18-cylinder air-cooled two-row radial, 2,100 hp (1,566 kW)
1 × Allis-Chalmers J36 turbojet, 2,700 lbf (12.26 kN) thrust

Performance

  • Maximum speed: 469 mph (755 km/h)
  • Range: 1,385 miles (2,228 km)
  • Rate of climb: 5,020 ft/min (25.5 m/s)</ul>Armament
  • 4 wing-mounted 20 mm (.79 in) cannon

See also

Aircraft of comparable role, configuration and era

References

  • Green, William; Gordon Swanborough. The Complete Book of Fighters. Godalming, UK: Salamander Books. pp. 143,144. 

External links