Huff-Daland XHB-1 Cyclops - United States, 1927
Detailing the development and operational history of the Huff-Daland XHB-1 Cyclops Heavy Bomber Prototype.
Entry last updated on 12/17/2014; Authored by Staff Writer; Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com
The Huff-Daland XHB-1 heavy bomber was completed in just one prototype - the XB-1 Super Cyclops become a twin-engine, twin-boom version made by Keystone.
For years in the decade following World War 1 (1914-1918) the Huff-Daland Aero Corporation attempted to sell the United Sates Army Air Corps (USAAC) on its biplane bomber concepts. Very few of these attempts saw any fruit instead serving out their days primarily in developmental prototype forms. The Huff-Daland XHB-1 "Cyclops" was one such offering, continuing the Huff-Daland biplane approach from the early 1920s and incorporating a single Packard 2A-2540 engine of 750 horsepower in the nose. The crew numbered four and performance included a maximum speed of 109 miles per hour. For all intents and purposes, the XHB-1 was nothing more than a dimensionally larger, heavy bomber-minded version of its preceding LB-1 light bomber of which ten were claimed by the USAAS (United States Army Air Service). A sole prototype was all that was ever realized of the XHB-1 initiative for it was not adopted in any notable way.
As was the case with the LB-1 before it, the chief limiting factor in the XHB-1 was its use of a single engine. Army chiefs worried for the survivability of such a large aircraft when set over enemy terrain or long distances pushing Huff-Daland engineers to produce a revised twin-engined form of the LB-1 in the XLB-3. However, even this initiative was shelved after a single prototype in favor of the LB-5 (36 produced). As with those aircraft, a twin-engined variant of the XHB-1 was wished for - and granted - in the upcoming XB-1 "Super Cyclops". By then, the Huff-Daland brand label would be absorbed by Keystone Aircraft Corporation until it, itself, was taken over by Curtiss-Wright in 1929 and no more by 1932.
The XHB-1 fell to naught with a sole prototype completed. The XB-1 Super Cyclops would fare no better with just one prototype to its name as well.