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  • CONVAIR XA-44 (XB-53) Attack Platform / Medium Bomber Proposal

    The CONVAIR XA-44 emerged from World War 2 as a potential attack platform for the USAAF but ended its days a cancelled project as the XB-53 Medium Bomber.

     Updated: 4/26/2017; Authored By Staff Writer; Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com

    The period immediately following World War 2 (1939-1945) provided aeronautical engineers with a new chapter in "heavier-than-air" powered flight. The jet age born during the war and progressed at a feverish pace thereafter with many of the wartime participants seeking to perfect turbojet designs and stock their respective air services with the latest combat aircraft. CONVAIR, born in 1943 from the merger between Consolidated and Vultee, went on to present many-a-large aircraft designs during the period - the interesting "XA-44" being one of them.

    The XA-44 was born in 1945 as a jet-powered attack platform for consideration by the United States Army Air Forces (USAAF). Its most unique quality was its forward-swept wing mainplanes which were coupled to a tailless aft section - a sole vertical fin making up the rear surfaces of the aircraft. The mainplanes - angled forward at 30-degrees and influenced by German wartime research - were set aft of midships and shoulder-mounted along a squat yet well-contoured fuselage. The cockpit was fitted forward, aft of a nosecone assembly, in the usual way. It was envisioned that the aircraft would carry a standard operating crew of four.

    Engineers opted for a tri-engine configuration involving turbojets and these aspirated through side-mounted intakes. The engine of choice became the General Electric J35 which was expected to provide an output thrust of 4,000lb each unit.

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    CONVAIR XB-53 Technical Specifications

    Service Year: 1949
    Type: Attack Platform / Medium Bomber Proposal
    National Origin: United States
    Manufacturer(s): CONVAIR - USA
    Production Total: 0

    Structural (Crew Space, Dimensions and Weights)

    Operating Crew: 4
    Length: 79.40 feet (24.2 meters)
    Width: 80.71 feet (24.60 meters)
    Height: 23.69 feet (7.22 meters)

    Weight (Empty): 31,758 lb (14,405 kg)
    Weight (MTOW): 59,999 lb (27,215 kg)

    Installed Power and Standard Day Performance

    Engine(s): 3 x General Electric J35 turbojet engines developing 4,000lb of thrust each.

    Maximum Speed: 581 mph (935 kph; 505 knots)
    Service Ceiling: 42,651 feet (13,000 meters; 8.08 miles)

    Armament / Mission Payload

    Up to 12,000lb of internally-held conventional drop stores.

    Global Operators / Customers

    United States (cancelled)

    Model Variants (Including Prototypes)

    XA-44 - Original attack platform designation for the USAAF

    XB-53 - Revised medium bomber designation of 1948 for the USAF.