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Tucker XP-57 (Peashooter)

Bomber Interceptor / Fighter Proposal

Tucker XP-57 (Peashooter)

Bomber Interceptor / Fighter Proposal

OVERVIEW
SPECIFICATIONS
ARMAMENT
VARIANTS
HISTORY
MEDIA
OVERVIEW



Preston Tucker attempted to nab a U.S. Army contract by pushing this ultimately-abandoned XP-57 Peashooter bomber interceptor.
National Flag Graphic
ORIGIN: United States
YEAR: 1940
MANUFACTURER(S): Tucker Aviation Corporation - USA
PRODUCTION: 0
OPERATORS: United States
SPECIFICATIONS



Unless otherwise noted the presented statistics below pertain to the Tucker XP-57 (Peashooter) model. Common measurements, and their respective conversions, are shown when possible.
CREW: 1
LENGTH: 26.57 feet (8.1 meters)
WIDTH: 28.54 feet (8.7 meters)
HEIGHT: 7.87 feet (2.4 meters)
WEIGHT (EMPTY): 3,400 pounds (1,542 kilograms)
ENGINE: 1 x Miller L-510 8-cylinder inline engine developing 720 horsepower.
SPEED (MAX): 308 miles-per-hour (495 kilometers-per-hour; 267 knots)
RANGE: 597 miles (960 kilometers; 518 nautical miles)




ARMAMENT



PROPOSED:
3 x 0.50 caliber machine guns OR 2 x 20mm cannons and 1 x 0.50 caliber machine gun (20mm firing through the propeller hub).
VARIANTS



Series Model Variants
• XP-57 - Base Series Designation; no examples ever produced.


HISTORY



Detailing the development and operational history of the Tucker XP-57 (Peashooter) Bomber Interceptor / Fighter Proposal.  Entry last updated on 5/12/2016. Authored by Staff Writer. Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com.
Prior to World War 2 (1939-1944), American airpower authorities began to seriously consider the concept of a very-light-weight point defense interceptor to counter the possible threat of enemy bombers in American airspace. The aircraft would be designed with minimal use of strategic war materials (namely metal) and showcase a very contained profile while possessing performance and armament suitable for the interception role. From this came several lightweight fighter programs of which none materialized into workable production forms to fit the role - one of these concepts became the Tucker XP-75.

Preston Tucker plied his trade as an automobile designer and businessman, eventually remembered for his post-war Tucker Sedan of 1948. He saw the potential of U.S. military contracts for his privately-owned machine parts business and began a design concept for a lightweight interceptor as the "Model AL-5". it was nicknamed the "Peashooter" due to its proposed dimensions. He then formed Tucker Aviation Corporation out of Detroit, Michigan during 1940 to help support the future design and development of this aircraft and help push an Army contract - which was granted in July of 1940. The charge called for a single low-cost prototype under the "XP-57" pursuit fighter designation with support through the storied Wright Field.

The finalized design was a single-seat, single-engine development with a length of 26.6 feet, a wingspan of 28.4 feet, and a height of 8 feet while showcasing an empty weight of 3,000lbs. Unlike a majority of contemporaries, the undercarriage would be a tricycle arrangement - a rather modern approach typically seen from aircraft under the Bell brand label. Additionally, the XP-57 adopted another Bell quality - the powerplant installation behind the cockpit with a drive shaft running the two-bladed propeller at front of the nose (as in the Bell P-39 Airacobra). Due to scarcity of better known engines at the time, the Miller L-510-1 Double series V12 liquid-cooled engine of 720 horsepower output was selected due to its availability and promised performance. Maximum speed was estimated at 308 miles per hour with a range out to 600 miles and rate-of-climb of 1,700 feet-per-minute. For combat, it would be capably-armed with either 1 x 20mm cannon (60 rounds of ammunition) and 1 x 0.50 caliber Browning heavy machine gun (400 rounds) or 3 x 0.50 caliber heaving machine guns (488 rounds). For the 20mm cannon installation, the weapon would fire through the propeller hub (again, as in the Bell P-39 series).

Weight would be a key quality of the small design and an engineering struggle to boot. As such, it was decided that the wings would be formed of a wooden understructure with fabric covering. A steel tube frame was to make up the structural support of the fuselage and aluminum skin would be used to cover it. Cockpit and engine armoring were nixed as they only served to add weight and degrade performance for a fighter design intended to be both fast and nimble.

Work on the XP-57 began in short order but Tucker Aviation filed for bankruptcy as soon as February of 1941 - nearly a full year before America would commit to war. The company experienced internal troubles which delayed progress and the program was further done in by the evolution of U.S. Army fighter requirements leading up to World War 2 - primarily driven by worldwide developments seen elsewhere. As such, the XP-57 went nowhere and the Army allowed its contract with Tucker Aviation to run its course and fall to history. The company was then acquired by Higgins Industries and Tucker served his time as Vice President until 1943 while the company concentrated on weapons, turret, and powerplant manufacture for the Higgins torpedo boats.




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 (308mph).

    Graph average of 300 miles-per-hour.
City-to-City Ranges
NYC
 
  LDN
LDN
 
  PAR
PAR
 
  BER
BER
 
  MSK
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  TKY
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  SYD
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  LAX
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  NYC
Graph showcases the Tucker XP-57 (Peashooter)'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
0
0

  * Commercial Market High belongs to Cessna 172.

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


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
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* Ribbons not necessarily indicative of actual historical campaign ribbons. Ribbons are clickable to their respective campaigns/operations.