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  • Kaiser-Fleetwings XA-39 Ground Attack Aircraft Proposal


    The Kaiser-Fleetwings XA-39 attack platform only managed a mockup form before the project was terminated amidst changing U.S. Army requirements.



     Updated: 3/20/2016; Authored By Staff Writer; Content ¬©www.MilitaryFactory.com


    To help fulfill a standing U.S. Army attack aircraft requirement, little-known Kaiser-Fleetwings developed a large, single-seat / single-engine conventional monoplane under the "XA-39" designation. The type competed with a collection of other similar offerings but never materialized beyond the mockup stage by which point the Army had moved from its focus on single-engined heavy attackers to twin-engined types and the XA-39 fell to history.

    Founded in 1929, Fleetwings was born in Bristol, Pennsylvania and was acquired in 1943 by Kaiser to produce the "Kaiser-Fleetwings" brand label. The brand only saw a few wartime aircraft designs but none ever achieved any sort of notoriety. The company continued operations into the post-war years by which point it was involved in the American space program before closing its doors for good in 1962.

    The XA-39 was developed for the ground attack role and this meant a large and rugged, reliable aircraft capable of absorbing punishment from ground-based fire and dealing with the stresses of diving and quick turns. Range was also an important quality as loitering over contested zones was a priority. Typically these aircraft types were required to carry considerable ordnance loads - guns, cannons, rockets, and drop bombs. To power the new design, Kaiser-Fleetwings engineers selected the massive Pratt & Whitney R-2800 series radial piston engine of 2,100 horsepower output and this would be used to drive a three-bladed propeller unit at the nose.


    Kaiser-Fleetwings XA-39 Technical Specifications


    Service Year: 1942
    Type: Ground Attack Aircraft Proposal
    National Origin: United States
    Manufacturer(s): Kaiser-Fleetwings - USA
    Production Total: 0



    Structural (Crew Space, Dimensions and Weights)


    Operating Crew: 1
    Weight (MTOW): 20,503 lb (9,300 kg)

    Installed Power and Standard Day Performance


    Engine(s): 1 x Pratt & Whitney R-2800-27 radial piston engine developing 2,000 horsepower.

    Maximum Speed: 357 mph (575 kph; 310 knots)
    Maximum Range: 1,401 miles (2,255 km)
    Service Ceiling: 27,805 feet (8,475 meters; 5.27 miles)
    Rate-of-Climb: 2,040 feet-per-minute (622 m/min)

    Armament / Mission Payload


    PROPOSED:

    Standard, Fixed (never fitted):
    2 x 37mm cannons
    4 x 0.50 caliber Browning Heavy Machine Guns (HMGs)

    Optional:
    6 x 500lb conventional drop bombs OR 2 x 1,600lb drop bombs in internal weapons bay.

    Global Operators / Customers


    United States (cancelled)

    Model Variants (Including Prototypes)


    XA-39 - Base Product Designation

    A-39 - Assumed production model designation

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