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The XB-1 was the first aircraft named using just a B- designation. Prior to 1926, the U.S. Army used LB- and HB- prefixes, signifying 'Light Bomber' and 'Heavy Bomber'. The first XB-1, called the Super-Cyclops by Huff-Daland, was an extension of the earlier Huff-Daland XHB-1 'Cyclops'. It was essentially the same in size, but sported a twin tail and twin engines.
Design and development
The XB-1's gunnery arrangement was new for an American bomber, but it had been previously used by the British and the Germans near the end of World War I. The Army Air Corps had decided that single-engined bombers such as the XHB-1 performed more poorly and with less safety than the more traditional twin-engined bomber.
The aircraft flew for the first time in September 1927. Its original Packard engines did not provide enough power for the aircraft, and it was refitted with more powerful Curtiss Aircraft "Conqueror" engines. This new configuration was designated the XB-1B.
Three other similar aircraft designs were requested by the Army Air Corps around the same time which competed against the XB-1 for the contract. Of these three (the XB-2 Condor, the Sikorsky S-37 and the Fokker XLB-2), the Curtiss model eventually won, and only a single XB-1 was ever produced.
- Crew: 5
- Length: 61 ft 6 in (18.7 m)
- Wingspan: 85 ft 0 in (25.9 m)
- Height: 19 ft 3 in (5.9 m)
- Wing area: 1,604 ft² (149.0 m²)
- Empty weight: 9,462 lb (4,292 kg)
- Loaded weight: 16,500 lb (7,480 kg)
- Powerplant: 2 × Curtiss V-1570-5 Conqueror liquid-cooled V12 engines, 600 hp (450 kW) each
- Maximum speed: 100 mph (86 kn, 160 km/h)
- Range: 700 mi (610 NM, 1,100 km)
- Service ceiling: 15,000 ft (4,600 m)
- Wing loading: 5.899 lb/ft² (28.80 kg/m²)
- Power/mass: 0.072 hp/lb (120 W/kg)</ul>Armament
- Guns: 6 × .30 in (7.62 mm) Lewis machine guns
- Bombs: 2,500 lb (1,100 kg); 4,000 lb (1,800 kg) on short runs
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