Military Factory logo
Icon of a dollar sign
Icon of military officer saluting
Icon of F-15 Eagle military combat fighter aircraft
Icon of Abrams Main Battle Tank
Icon of AK-47 assault rifle
Icon of navy warships

Grumman XP-50 (Skyrocket)

Twin-Engine Fighter Prototype Aircraft

Grumman XP-50 (Skyrocket)

Twin-Engine Fighter Prototype Aircraft

OVERVIEW
SPECIFICATIONS
ARMAMENT
VARIANTS
HISTORY
MEDIA
OVERVIEW



The Grumman XP-50 came in a close second to the Lockheed XP-38 for the U.S. Army - the latter going on to earn legendary status for its actions in World War 2.
National Flag Graphic
ORIGIN: United States
YEAR: 1941
STATUS: Cancelled
MANUFACTURER(S): Grumman - USA
PRODUCTION: 1
OPERATORS: United States (cancelled)
SPECIFICATIONS



Unless otherwise noted the presented statistics below pertain to the Grumman XP-50 (Skyrocket) model. Common measurements, and their respective conversions, are shown when possible.
CREW: 1
LENGTH: 31.89 feet (9.72 meters)
WIDTH: 41.99 feet (12.8 meters)
HEIGHT: 11.98 feet (3.65 meters)
WEIGHT (EMPTY): 8,298 pounds (3,764 kilograms)
WEIGHT (MTOW): 10,600 pounds (4,808 kilograms)
ENGINE: 2 x Wright R-1820-67 / -69 9-cylinder air-cooled radial piston engines developing 1,200 horsepower each.
SPEED (MAX): 424 miles-per-hour (683 kilometers-per-hour; 369 knots)
RANGE: 1,250 miles (2,011 kilometers; 1,086 nautical miles)
CEILING: 40,000 feet (12,192 meters; 7.58 miles)
RATE-OF-CLIMB: 3,800 feet-per-minute (1,158 meters-per-minute)




ARMAMENT



PROPOSED ARMAMENT PACKAGE 1:
4 x 12.7mm Browning air-cooled machine guns in nose with 500 rounds each gun.
2 x 12.7mm Browning air-cooled machine guns in wings (1 to a wing) with 500 rounds each gun.

PROPOSED ARMAMENT PACKAGE 2:
2 x 20mm Hispano-Suiza cannons in nose with 60 rounds each.
2 x 12.7mm Browning air-cooled machine guns in nose.
2 x 12.7mm Browning air-cooled machine guns in wings (1 to a wing).

OPTIONAL:
2 x 165lb drop bombs (1 under each wing)
VARIANTS



Series Model Variants
• Design 34 - Internal Grumman Designation
• G-46A - Internal Grumman Designation
• XP-50 - Single Prototype Model; S/N: 39-2517; fitted with 2 x Wright R-1820-67/-69 series engines; armament proposed but never installed; did not complete full flight testing.
• XP-65 - "Improved" XP-50 Proposal; fitted with 2 x Wright R-2600-10 series engines; never constructed.


HISTORY



Detailing the development and operational history of the Grumman XP-50 (Skyrocket) Twin-Engine Fighter Prototype Aircraft.  Entry last updated on 7/13/2018. Authored by Staff Writer. Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com.
Firmly entrenched as an aircraft supplier to the United States Navy, the Grumman aircraft company set about to supply an equally lucrative deal with the U.S. Army to produce a hybrid high-speed pursuit fighter and light bomber platform. Having developed the radical-looking XF5F-1 Skyrocket in the late-1930's, Grumman chose to forward this concept with a few design alterations to suit Army requirements. These included the addition of a longer nose section to accommodate a nose landing gear and make for a tricycle landing system not to dissimilar to that as showcased by the Bell corporation and its "Airacobra" series. The resulting design sparked enough interest from the United States Army to contract for a flyable prototype with the designation of "XP-50".

The XP-50 showcased many similarities to its predecessor. The pilot sat in a stubby yet streamlined fuselage with the lengthened nose extending just beyond the engine nacelles. The engines were held in low-mounted monoplane wings, all forward of the cockpit. The engines selected were Wright-branded R-1820-G205 which carried a military designation of R-1820-67/-69 and each turned in opposite directions to counter the naturally-occurring torque effects unique to any engine. Wings were clipped at the ends (ala the North American P-51 Mustang) and the empennage was dominated by the spit twin vertical fins as was found on the original XF5F-1. The cockpit was positioned in the middle of the fuselage and covered with a glazed frame canopy. Vision was reported solid when peering forward and above yet the wing and engine placement no doubt hampered vision below - a common design detriment of twin-engine fighters throughout the war.

Armament options were tossed about during the development of the XP-50. Since heavy caliber air-cooled machine guns were the norm for US aircraft designs of the time, a preliminary armament package of 6 x 12.7mm Browning machine guns was brought forth. This would have a cluster of 4 x 12.7mm guns in the nose assembly and an additional 1 x 12.7mm to a wing. An impressive total of 500 rounds per gun was envisioned. The second proposed armament package was more in line with the future of the quintessential dogfighter and consisted of a battery of 2 x 20mm Hispano-Suiza cannons in the nose along with 2 x 12.7mm machine guns. 60 rounds were to be afforded the cannons. A further 2 x 12.7mm machine guns were intended to be mounted in each wing. Al in all, either weapon formation would have made the XP-50 an aircraft to be reckoned with. To make the Xp-50 a true hybrid fighter-bomber, provision was added for a single 165lb drop bomb under each wing. In an interesting design note, a window was installed on the cockpit floor for the sole use of assisting the pilot in bombing. Unfortunately for the XP-50, none of this armament was ever fitted into the design.

First flight for the XP-50 occurred in February of 1941 and the system passed all crucial performance tests despite the relatively short flight time of just twenty minutes. Successive flights were equally promising until on April 14th, 1941, the aircraft suffered a catastrophic failure of one of the turbosuperchargers forcing the pilot to eject the aircraft and lose it to the waters near Long Island Sound. This no doubt provided a dark stain on the XP-50 and the US Army made moves to secure the Lockheed XP-38 instead.

Despite the setback, the design was reconstituted into yet another new design - the Model G-51. This particular design was to form the basis of the XF7F which would become the F7F Tigercat of United States Marine fame (missing out on World War 2 altogether yet making a splash in the Korean War a few short years later). In any case, the XP-50 was a solid design when compared to other developmental aircraft of the war. Grumman would no doubt recover from the rejection by becoming one of America's best known aircraft firms with the production of the F6F Hellcat, F8F Bearcat and the timeless F-14 Tomcat among other notable systems.




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 Rating
Hi: 500mph
Lo: 250mph
    This entry's maximum listed speed (424mph).

    Graph average of 375 miles-per-hour.
City-to-City Ranges
NYC
 
  LDN
LDN
 
  PAR
PAR
 
  BER
BER
 
  MSK
MSK
 
  TKY
TKY
 
  SYD
SYD
 
  LAX
LAX
 
  NYC
Graph showcases the Grumman XP-50'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 Comparison
Comm. Market HI*: 44,000 units
Military Market HI**: 36,183 units
1
1

  * 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
Supported Arsenal
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 conventional drop bomb munition
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.