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Bell Model 22

Single-Seat, Single-Engine Carrierborne Fighter Proposal

Bell Model 22

Single-Seat, Single-Engine Carrierborne Fighter Proposal

OVERVIEW
SPECIFICATIONS
ARMAMENT
VARIANTS
HISTORY
IMAGES
Overview



The twin-boom Bell Model 22 was proposed to the United States Navy as a contender for a single-seat carrier-borne fighter requirement of 1940.
National Flag Graphic
ORIGIN: United States
YEAR: 1941
STATUS: Cancelled
MANUFACTURER(S): Bell Aircraft - USA
PRODUCTION: 0
OPERATORS: United States (cancelled)
National flag of United States
USA
Technical Specifications



Unless otherwise noted the presented statistics below pertain to the Bell Model 22 model. Common measurements, and their respective conversions, are shown when possible.
CREW: 1
POWER: 1 x Pratt & Whitney R-2800 "Double Wasp" air-cooled radial piston engine developing 2,000 horsepower driving 2 x Three-bladed propeller units in contra-rotating fashion.
ADVERTISEMENTS
LENGTH

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WIDTH / SPAN

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M.T.O.W.

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SPEED (MAX)

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knots
CEILING

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miles
RANGE

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miles
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kilometers
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nautical miles
Armament



PROPOSED:
6 x 0.50 caliber Browning M2 air-cooled heavy machine guns, installed as three to a tailboom.

ALTERNATIVE:
4 x 20mm Autocannons, two per tailboom (assumed).
Graphical image of an aircraft medium machine gun
Graphical image of an aircraft heavy machine gun
Graphical image of an aircrat automatic cannon
Variants / Models



• Model 22 - Company Project Designation; design brochure completed.


History



Detailing the development and operational history of the Bell Model 22 Single-Seat, Single-Engine Carrierborne Fighter Proposal.  Entry last updated on 4/21/2019. Authored by Staff Writer. Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com.
Even before the events of World War 2 (1939-1945) eventually thrust the United States into Total War, the United States Navy (USN) service was hard at work on attempting to find modern solutions to modern problems. One topic at the center of the conversation became a new single-seat carrierborne fighter (under Specification SD-112-18) capable of speeds nearing 400 miles-per-hour while reaching an altitude of 35,000 feet and out to a range of at least 1,000 miles from the ship. The deadline was set for March 10th, 1941 for all interested parties.

Aeroplane makers had the freedom to delivery studies centered around single- or twin-engine designs but the span of the aircraft was restricted to a full 46 feet due to the limited space aboard American carriers of the period. Requested armament was for up to 6 x 0.50 caliber heavy machine guns or 4 x 20mm automatic cannons - all in fixed installations set to fire forward but providing a good "punch" against any and all enemy aircraft of the period.

For the Bell Aircraft Corporation, this effort resulted in the "Model 22". Engineers elected for a twin-boom design in which the fuselage was a centralized, self-contained structure buried into the middle span of the wing mainplanes. The booms emanated from the trailing edges of these wing members and terminated at the rear where twin vertical rudders were seated - the tailplanes joined at their bases by a shared horizontal plane. The cockpit would be positioned well-forward in the aircraft with heavy glazing but offering exceptional views nonetheless. The engine was to be installed aft of the cockpit and drive power to a pair of three-bladed propeller units running in "contra-rotating" fashion ("pusher" arrangement), eliminating naturally-occurring torque effects of the engine and providing inherent stability. The fitting of the engine aft of the cockpit presented much-improved views for the pilot - a strong quality for a naval aircraft to have - as the pilot was not required to look down the long nose of his aircraft when taxiing, taking off, or landing. The aircraft was to have a modern tricycle landing gear arrangement in which each leg (two mains and a nose leg) were single-wheeled and retractable into the frame. For the purposes of naval service, these members were to be reinforced and arrestor would have figured into the mix.

The proposed armament of 6 x 0.50 caliber Heavy Machine Guns (HMGs) was to be mounted at the front ends of each tailboom structure - the guns stacked as a group of three at each boom. With no propeller unit at the nose to contend with, interrupter gear was not needed.

All told, the aircraft bore a striking resemblance to another Bell Aircraft proposal, the "Model 20" (detailed on this site), which was also to showcase a centralized single-seat fuselage, single-engine "pusher" propeller configuration, and twin-boom tail design. The Model 20 evolved into the "XP-59" but, when the design was shelved altogether, the XP-59 designation was reused to cover America's first jet fighter design - this becoming the P-59 "Airacomet" (also detailed elsewhere on this site).

The Bell Model 22 was not selected for further development and joined many other proposals in falling by the wayside.




Media







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
Hi: 400mph
Lo: 200mph
This entry's maximum listed speed (339mph).

Graph average of 300 miles-per-hour.
City-to-City Ranges
NYC
 
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LDN
 
  PAR
PAR
 
  BER
BER
 
  MSK
MSK
 
  TKY
TKY
 
  SYD
SYD
 
  LAX
LAX
 
  NYC
Graph showcases the Bell Model 22'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 (0)
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
Small airplane graphic
Supported Roles
A2A
Interception
UAV
Ground Attack
CAS
Training
ASW
Anti-Ship
AEW
MEDEVAC
EW
Maritime/Navy
SAR
Aerial Tanker
Utility/Transport
VIP
Passenger
Business
Recon
SPECOPS
X-Plane/Development
A2A=Air-to-Air; UAV=Unmanned; CAS=Close Support; ASW=Anti-Submarine; AEW=Airborne Early Warning; MEDEVAC=Medical Evac; EW=Electronic Warfare; SAR=Search-Rescue
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 pioneering aircraft
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 representing modern aircraft
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 War
Military lapel ribbon for experimental x-plane aircraft
* Ribbons not necessarily indicative of actual historical campaign ribbons. Ribbons are clickable to their respective campaigns/operations.


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