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X-PLANE


Vought VS-302


Twin-Engine Medium Bomber Proposal


The Vought VS-302 was drawn up to satisfy a new USAAC medium bomber requirement of the pre-World War 2 period - it was not selected.
Authored By: Staff Writer | Edited: 6/5/2019
National Flag Graphic

Specifications


Year: 1939
Status: Cancelled
Manufacturer(s): Vought - USA
Production: 0
Capabilities: Ground Attack; X-Plane;
Crew: 5
Length: 51.84 ft (15.8 m)
Width: 74.97 ft (22.85 m)
Weight (MTOW): 27,227 lb (12,350 kg)
Power: 2 x Wright R-2600 air-cooled radial piston engines OR 2 x Pratt & Whitney R-2800 air-cooled radial piston engines of unknown output power each driving three-bladed propeller units.
Speed: 351 mph (565 kph; 305 kts)
Ceiling: 35,597 feet (10,850 m; 6.74 miles)
Operators: United States (cancelled)
The Vought VS-302 was drawn up to satisfy a 1939 United States Army Air Corps (USAAC) requirement covering a twin-engined, medium-class bomber aircraft capable of flying at speeds around 300 miles-per-hour out to a range of 2,000 miles while carrying a war load of up to 3,000lb. The requirement, XC-213, was eventually fulfilled by two classic American war time designs, the North American B-25 "Mitchell" and the Martin B-26 "Marauder". The Chance Vought VS-302, therefore, fell by the wayside and is largely forgotten today.

Like other medium twins, the VS-302 was to carry shoulder-mounted mainplanes each with underslung engine nacelles. The nose section was heavily glazed and the cockpit (also glazed) was stepped for optimal viewing. The fuselage was deep and squared-off along its ventral edges while dorsal lines were relatively smooth and rounded. At the waist were positioned blister gun positions for defense and additional defense would come from guns mounted at the nose and ventral-aft locations - attempting to provide all-round coverage. The bomb bay resided towards the nose and could house between 2,000 and 2,200 lb of drop-ordnance. A "tail-dragger" undercarriage would provide the needed ground-running capability - though of note was the positioning of the tail wheel at the fuselage's extreme aft-end. To round out the physical qualities of this proposed aircraft, a twin-rudder fin tail unit was used.

The mainplanes at the engine nacelles held straight lines at both leading and trailing edges while the outboard sections tapered towards the wing tips for a most unique shaping of the planform when viewed from the top-down perspective. Each engine would drive three-bladed propeller units and power was to come from 2 x Wright R-2600 air-cooled radials or 2 x Pratt & Whitney R-2800 radial units. VS-302A was used by Vought covered the former and VS-302B was used to cover the latter.

As finalized, VS-302 had an overall length of 51.9 feet with a span reaching 75 feet. Weight was listed at 26,000lb to 27,000lb depending on internal loads (including fuel stores). Estimated maximum speeds were between 290 and 350 miles-per-hour with a service ceiling between 30,000 feet and 35,000 feet.

In any event, this Vought submission was passed over by the competition and ended its days as nothing more than a "paper airplane".






Armament



PROPOSED:
1 x Machine gun in nose position.
1 x Machine gun in left waist blister position.
1 x Machine gun in right waist blister position.

Internal bomb bay carrying between 2,000lb and 2,200lb of conventional drop bombs (1 x 2000lb; 2 x 1,000lb; 4 x 500lb; 20 x 100lb).

Graphical image of an aircraft conventional drop bomb munition

Variants / Models



• VS-302 - Base Project Designation; project not selected for further development by the USAAC.
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