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Curtiss XP-46

Fighter Aircraft Prototype

Curtiss XP-46

Fighter Aircraft Prototype

OVERVIEW
SPECIFICATIONS
ARMAMENT
VARIANTS
HISTORY
MEDIA
OVERVIEW



The Curtiss XP-46 fighter program would be doomed from the start, effectively dooming the Curtiss company itself.
National Flag Graphic
ORIGIN: United States
YEAR: 1941
MANUFACTURER(S): Curtiss - USA
PRODUCTION: 2
OPERATORS: United States (cancelled)
SPECIFICATIONS



Unless otherwise noted the presented statistics below pertain to the Curtiss XP-46 model. Common measurements, and their respective conversions, are shown when possible.
CREW: 1
LENGTH: 30.18 feet (9.2 meters)
WIDTH: 34.45 feet (10.5 meters)
HEIGHT: 12.99 feet (3.96 meters)
WEIGHT (EMPTY): 5,624 pounds (2,551 kilograms)
WEIGHT (MTOW): 7,663 pounds (3,476 kilograms)
ENGINE: 1 x Allison V-1710-39 liquid-cooled inline piston engine developing 1,150 horsepower.
SPEED (MAX): 355 miles-per-hour (571 kilometers-per-hour; 308 knots)
RANGE: 325 miles (523 kilometers; 282 nautical miles)
CEILING: 27,999 feet (8,534 meters; 5.30 miles)
RATE-OF-CLIMB: 2,000 feet-per-minute (610 meters-per-minute)




ARMAMENT



PROPOSED:
8 x 7.62mm machine guns in wings
2 x 12.7mm machine guns in nose
VARIANTS



Series Model Variants
• XP-46 - S/N 40-3053; first prototype sans armament.
• XP-46A - S/N 40-3054; second prototype (flyable); no armament fitted.


HISTORY



Detailing the development and operational history of the Curtiss XP-46 Fighter Aircraft Prototype.  Entry last updated on 6/26/2017. Authored by Staff Writer. Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com.
The smallish XP-46 was to be the answer for the deficiencies encountered in the P-40 Warhawk platform. Unfortunately for Curtiss, the XP-46 would be doomed by underperformance and sluggish capabilities - essentially dooming the company itself form ever producing fighters for the military.

The XP-46 was to take everything right about the P-40 and make it better. Along the way, the drawbacks of the 1930s-era system would be ironed out. The result was to be a small nimble fighter capable of a dreamed-up speed of over 400 miles per hour and built in the same vein as the successful Bf 109 and the Supermarine Spitfires - a fighter the American forces could call upon to conduct most any type of operation on any front.

With production of the P-40 Warhawk in full swing, designers at Curtiss had sold the idea of a more powerful successor to the US Army Air Corps, to which two prototypes were ordered. The design called for the system to be powered by an Allison brand liquid-cooled engine capable of 1,150 horsepower fitted into a smallish frame. Armament - proposed but never fitted to either prototype - was consist of eight .30 caliber machine guns mounted in the wings with an additional two .50 caliber systems in the nose.

By the time the second prototype had flown as the XP-46A, the system was already showing clear signs of never really matching even the outdated P-40 it was to replace. Looking every bit like the P-40 itself, the XP-46 proved to be slow-responding for a fighter and the 400mph speed was never close to being reached. The samples were later scrapped and the Curtiss company was finished - leaving the P-40 Warhawk as the single symbol of their fighter-designing days of success behind.




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.

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Relative Maximum Speed Rating
Hi: 400mph
Lo: 200mph
    This entry's maximum listed speed (355mph).

    Graph average of 300 miles-per-hour.
City-to-City Ranges
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PAR
 
  BER
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  SYD
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  NYC
Graph showcases the Curtiss XP-46's operational range (on internal fuel) when compared to distances between major cities.
Aviation Era
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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
2
2

  * Commercial Market High belongs to Cessna 172.

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


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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