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Boeing XP-8

United States (1928)
Picture of Boeing XP-8 Prototype Fighter
Picture of Boeing XP-8 Prototype Fighter

Only a single example of the experimental Boeing XP-8 pursuit fighter was ever produced.


Detailing the development and operational history of the Boeing XP-8 Prototype Fighter.  Entry last updated on 4/25/2016. Authored by Staff Writer. Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com

Following World War 1 (1914-1918), the aircraft as a military platform advanced beyond its original fabric-over-wood coverings and underpowered engines. Early forms were now being replaced by metal-skinned airframes with reinforced structures and evermore powerful engines benefitting from advancing technologies in the field. What remained however was the general biplane shape and open-air cockpit along with fixed, forward-firing machine gun armament and fixed undercarriage systems. After covering several designs for the military during and after World War 1, Boeing began work on more advanced fighter types to fulfill the new US Army Air Service "Pursuit" fighter requirements emerging and established itself as a prominent aircraft maker with their PW-9. In the middle/late 1920s, Boeing attempted to sell the renamed "US Army Air Corps" on a new pursuit type as the "XP-8" developed as a private venture offering by the company and intended to fulfill a 1925 USAAC requirement.

The Boeing XP-8 represented a "one-off" biplane fighter prototype (Boeing Model 66). It continued use of a biplane wing arrangement as well as open-air cockpit and fixed undercarriage structure. The airframe was powered by a single, front-mounted Packard engine and carried its radiator system along the lower wing root - a distinct feature in its design. The aircraft was further distinguished by its noticeably contoured nose assembly which was to aid in aerodynamic efficiency at expected speeds. Armament was consistent with aircraft of the time and made up of a combination of 1 x 0.30 caliber medium machine gun and 1 x 0.50 caliber heavy machine gun in fixed mountings for forward-firing. Power was served through a single Packard 2A-1530 series inverted "vee" engine delivering 600 horsepower allowing the XP-8 a top listed speed of 170 miles per hour while cruising was around 135 miles per hour. The aircraft displayed a service ceiling of 20,950 feet and range of 325 miles. Rate-of-climb was a useful 1,750 feet per minute. The engine drove a two-bladed propeller assembly. Dimensionally, the XP-8 showcased a length of 23 feet, 4 inches, a wingspan of 30 feet and a height of 8 feet, 4 inches. Maximum weight was listed at 3,420 lbs. The main wings were of uneven span featuring parallel struts and cabling with the pilot seated aft and under the upper wing arrangement.

The aircraft was delivered USAAC testing facilities in early 1928. Pilots noted the type's good handling characteristics thought he test vehicle could not attained required speeds for an Army fighter. Engine problems soon developed where engine oil and water would leak into the bottom of the powerplant and foul sparkplugs. The issue was never resolved and, despite evaluation into June of 1929, the aircraft was not accepted for Army service. The prototype was then scrapped and lost to history though Boeing utilized some qualities of the design to sell the US Navy, Japan and Brazil on its F2B model - 33 built in all.

Any available statistics for the Boeing XP-8 Prototype Fighter are showcased in the areas immediately below. Categories include basic specifications covering country-of-origin, operational status, manufacture(s) and total quantitative production. Other qualities showcased are related to structural values (namely dimensions), installed power and standard day performance figures, installed or proposed armament and mission equipment (if any), global users (from A-to-Z) and series model variants (if any).






Our Data Modules allow for quick visual reference when comparing a single entry against contemporary designs. Areas covered include general ratings, speed assessments, and relative ranges based on distances between major cities.

Image of collection of graph types

Relative Maximum Speed Rating
Hi: 200mph
Lo: 100mph
    This entry's maximum listed speed (176mph).

    Graph average of 150 miles-per-hour.
City-to-City Ranges
NYC
 
  LON
LON
 
  PAR
PAR
 
  BER
BER
 
  MOS
MOS
 
  TOK
TOK
 
  SYD
SYD
 
  LAX
LAX
 
  NYC
Graph showcases the Boeing XP-8's operational range (on internal fuel) when compared to distances between major cities.
Aviation Era
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Useful in showcasing the era cross-over of particular aircraft/aerospace designs.
Unit Production Comparison
Comm. Market HI*: 44,000 units
Military Market HI**: 36,183 units
1
1


  * Commercial Market High belongs to Cessna 172.

  ** Military Market High belongs to Ilyushin Il-2.


Altitude Visualization
Small airplane graphic
  Compare this entry against other aircraft using our Comparison Tool  
National Flag Graphic
Origin: United States
Year: 1928
Type: Prototype Fighter
Manufacturer(s): Boeing - USA
Production: 1
Global Operators:
United States
Historical Commitments / Honors:

Military lapel ribbon for Operation Allied Force
Military lapel ribbon for the Arab-Israeli War
Military lapel ribbon for the Battle of Britain
Military lapel ribbon for the Battle of Midway
Military lapel ribbon for the Berlin Airlift
Military lapel ribbon for the Chaco War
Military lapel ribbon for the Cold War
Military lapel ribbon for the Cuban Missile Crisis
Military lapel ribbon for the Falklands War
Military lapel ribbon for the French-Indochina War
Military lapel ribbon for the Golden Age of Flight
Military lapel ribbon for the 1991 Gulf War
Military lapel ribbon for the Indo-Pak Wars
Military lapel ribbon for the Iran-Iraq War
Military lapel ribbon for the Korean War
Military lapel ribbon for the 1982 Lebanon War
Military lapel ribbon for the Malayan Emergency
Military lapel ribbon for the attack on Pearl Harbor
Military lapel ribbon for the Six Day War
Military lapel ribbon for the Soviet-Afghan War
Military lapel ribbon for the Spanish Civil War
Military lapel ribbon for the Suez Crisis
Military lapel ribbon for the Vietnam War
Military lapel ribbon for Warsaw Pact of the Cold War-era
Military lapel ribbon for the WASP (WW2)
Military lapel ribbon for the World War 1
Military lapel ribbon for the World War 2
Military lapel ribbon for the Yom Kippur
* Ribbons not necessarily indicative of actual historical campaign ribbons. Ribbons are clickable to their respective campaigns/operations.
Measurements and Weights icon
Structural - Crew, Dimensions, and Weights:
Unless otherwise noted the presented statistics below pertain to the Boeing XP-8 model. Common measurements, and their respective conversions, are shown when possible.

Operational
CREW


Personnel
1


Dimension
LENGTH


Feet
23.43 ft


Meters
7.14 m


Dimension
WIDTH


Feet
30.09 ft


Meters
9.17 m


Dimension
HEIGHT


Feet
8.99 ft


Meters
2.74 m


Weight
EMPTY


Pounds
2,392 lb


Kilograms
1,085 kg


Weight
LOADED


Pounds
3,417 lb


Kilograms
1,550 kg

Engine icon
Installed Power - Standard Day Performance:
1 x Packard 2A-1500 liquid-cooled piston engine developing 600 horsepower.

Performance
SPEED


Miles-per-Hour
176 mph


Kilometers-per-Hour
283 kph


Knots
153 kts


Performance
RANGE


Miles
326 mi


Kilometers
525 km


Nautical Miles
283 nm


Performance
CEILING


Feet
20,965 ft


Meters
6,390 m


Miles
3.97 mi


Performance
CLIMB RATE


Feet-per-Minute
1,750 ft/min


Meters-per-Minute
533 m/min

Supported Weapon Systems:

Graphical image of an aircraft medium machine gun
Graphical image of an aircraft heavy machine gun
Armament - Hardpoints (0):

STANDARD:
1 x 0.30 caliber machine gun
1 x 0.50 caliber machine gun
Variants: Series Model Variants
• XP-8 - Base prototype designation