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Grumman XTB2F-1 (G-55)

United States (1945)
Picture of Grumman XTB2F-1 (G-55) Twin-Engine Carrierborne Navy Bomber Aircraft

The Grumman XTB2F-1 twin-engine attacker was seen as a possible successor to the storied Avenger torpedo bomber line for the USN.


Detailing the development and operational history of the Grumman XTB2F-1 (G-55) Twin-Engine Carrierborne Navy Bomber Aircraft.  Entry last updated on 3/12/2018. Authored by Staff Writer. Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com

Introduced in 1942, the Grumman TBF Avenger carrier-based torpedo bomber proved itself a versatile aircraft for the Allies during what remained of World War 2 (1939-1945). Such versatility lent the airframe well to undergoing various experiments and modifications to further expand the tactical value of this fine wartime machine. In all, 9,839 Avengers were built and used by the air services of the United States, Britain, Canada and New Zealand for their part in the war. Other operators (including a rebuilding France) appeared in the post-war period.

The Avenger was a naturally large and heavy aircraft for its role in delivering torpedo loads over long ranges. However, to extract every ounce of value from the airframe, designers continued to pour more and more into the frame to help expand its usefulness as the war moved on. This continuous work prompted thinking amongst United States Navy (USN) authorities to find an eventual successor for the Avenger, built along more refined lines and possibly producing a singular replacement effort for the mix of torpedo / dive bombers then in USN service. The primary restriction at the time was large, twin-engined aircraft operating aboard space-strapped carriers, namely the all-important Essex- and Midway-class aircraft carriers where space proved a premium.

Despite this, the Navy eventually approached Grumman to develop a possible contender for the carrierborne bomber role. Grumman designers responded with the "Model G-55" in December of 1942 and a formal proposal followed in March of the following year. Grumman suggested that their aircraft could be made ready for war as soon as May 1945 but of course this was a selling point and wishful thinking to say the least. The Navy nevertheless liked what it heard and approved the venture on August 6th, 1943. The initial commitment would cover two flyable prototypes to prove the design sound.

The resulting aircraft was designated "XTB2F-1" and, using the Avenger as a general starting point, the large attacker would be given a pair of wing-mounted engines (unlike the Avenger's single, nose-mounted powerplant). The crew, avionics, fuel and war load (up to 8,000lb of torpedoes or drop bombs) would be concentrated within the smooth-skinned, rounded fuselage which had a traditional single-finned tail unit at the rear. The nose section was well-glazed to provide for excellent vision out-of-the-cockpit and a radar fit would be carried in a pod under the portside wing. Offset to the starboard side of the nose was a 75mm cannon installation within a blister-style fairing. The portside of the nose stood to receive 2 x 0.50 caliber heavy machine guns and a further 4 x 0.50 caliber machine guns were envisioned in the wings. Unlike the Avenger, the XTB2F-1 was to accomplish ground-running with a tricycle undercarriage to provide for better vision on carrier decks. As was the case with most all carrierborne aircraft, the Grumman G-55 was also given folding wings for storage, the wings hinged just past the main landing gear leg wells and engine nacelles. Additional armament would come from a dorsal turret and ventral turret where each would carry 2 x 0.50 caliber heavy machine guns.
In total, the attacker would be able to rely on a 75mm autocannon, 10 x 12.7mm machine guns and an 8,000lb bomb load (or two torpedoes).

The G-55 grew to become a very impressive aircraft, both large and heavy. Overall weight was estimated to reach in the neighborhood of 45,700lb and the wingspan measured out to 74 feet! To drive this monster was 2 x Pratt & Whitney R-2800-22 air-cooled radial piston engines of 2,100 horsepower, each driving three-bladed propeller units. The aircraft was estimated to end up with a top speed of 335 miles-per-hour and hit an altitude nearing 30,000 feet out to a range of 3,700 miles (ferry).

Grumman completed a mockup of their new bird for USN inspection and this occurred in May of 1944. Within a month, the Navy realized that the XTB2F-1 was not the answer and cancelled the request on June 14th, 1944, ending hopes for the two contracted-for prototypes. The G-55 was simply too large and too heavy for the current-generation carriers in USN service and would deliver far too little for the commitment when compared to smaller attack platforms already in circulation. The USN then moved on to consider other options.






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.

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Relative Maximum Speed Rating
Hi: 400mph
Lo: 200mph
    This entry's maximum listed speed (336mph).

    Graph average of 300 miles-per-hour.
Relative Operational Ranges
NYC
 
  LON
LON
 
  PAR
PAR
 
  BER
BER
 
  MOS
MOS
 
  TOK
TOK
 
  SYD
SYD
 
  LAX
LAX
 
  NYC
Graph showcases the Grumman XTB2F-1's operational range (on internal fuel) when compared to distances between major cities.
Aviation Era Impact
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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
0
0


  * Commercial Market High belongs to Cessna 172.

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


Altitude Visualization
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Supported Mission Types:
Air-to-Air
Interception
Unmanned
Ground Attack
Close-Air Support
Training
Anti-Submarine
Anti-Ship
Airborne Early Warning
MEDEVAC
Electronic Warfare
Maritime/Navy
Aerial Tanker
Utility/Transport
Passenger Industry
VIP Travel
Business Travel
Search/Rescue
Recon/Scouting
Special Forces
X-Plane/Development
National Flag Graphic
National Origin: United States
Service Year: 1945
Classification Type: Twin-Engine Carrierborne Navy Bomber Aircraft
Manufacturer(s): Grumman Aircraft - USA
Production Units: 0
Operational Status: Cancelled
Global Operators:
United States (cancelled)
Structural - Crew, Dimensions, and Weights:
Unless otherwise noted the presented statistics below pertain to the Grumman XTB2F-1 model. Common measurements, and their respective conversions, are shown when possible.

Operational
CREW


Personnel
6


Dimension
LENGTH


Feet
57.41 ft


Meters
17.5 m


Dimension
WIDTH


Feet
73.98 ft


Meters
22.55 m


Dimension
HEIGHT


Feet
21.49 ft


Meters
6.55 m


Weight
EMPTY


Pounds
23,656 lb


Kilograms
10,730 kg


Weight
LOADED


Pounds
45,702 lb


Kilograms
20,730 kg

Installed Power - Standard Day Performance:
2 x Pratt & Whitney R-2800-22 air-cooled radial piston engines developing 2,100 horsepower each and driving three-bladed propeller units.

Performance
SPEED


Miles-per-Hour
336 mph


Kilometers-per-Hour
540 kph


Knots
292 kts


Performance
RANGE


Miles
3,700 mi


Kilometers
5,955 km


Nautical Miles
3,215 nm


Performance
CEILING


Feet
30,003 ft


Meters
9,145 m


Miles
5.68 mi

Armament - Hardpoints (0):

PROPOSED:
1 x 75mm autocannon in starboard side nose blister.
2 x 0.50 caliber heavy machine guns in portside nose position.
2 x 0.50 caliber heavy machine guns in dorsal turret.
2 x 0.50 caliber heavy machine guns in ventral turret.
4 x 0.50 caliber heavy machine guns in the wing roots.

OPTIONAL:
A bomber or torpedo (x2) load of up to 8,000lb.
Visual Armory:

Graphical image of an aircraft medium machine gun
Graphical image of an aircraft heavy machine gun
Graphical image of an aircrat automatic cannon
Graphical image of an aircraft aerial torpedo
Graphical image of an aircraft conventional drop bomb munition
Variants: Series Model Variants
• G-55 - Grumman company model covering the work on the XTB2F-1.
• XTB2F-1 - Base Developmental Designation; mock-up completed.