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Brewster XA-32

United States (1943)
Picture of Brewster XA-32 Ground Attack / Dive Bomber Aircraft Prototype
Picture of Brewster XA-32 Ground Attack / Dive Bomber Aircraft Prototype Picture of Brewster XA-32 Ground Attack / Dive Bomber Aircraft Prototype
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The Brewster XA-32 series was intended as a ground attack aircraft though only two prototypes were ever completed.


Detailing the development and operational history of the Brewster XA-32 Ground Attack / Dive Bomber Aircraft Prototype.  Entry last updated on 5/5/2016. Authored by Staff Writer. Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com

The United States Army Air Corps appreciated the tactical scope of the German Luftwaffe Junkers Ju 87 "Stuka" dive bombers and set about to stock a similar aircraft of its own. This charge was given to the Brewster Aeronautical Corporation in 1941. However, Brewster was slow in its response and a mockup was not made ready until the middle of 1942. A functioning prototype (XA-32) was therefore not in play until 1943 and this featured an all-new vertical tail fin design. By this time, America was fully committed to world war along several major fronts and piston-engined technology had advanced by a large margin.

The XA-32 was given a rather conventional design configuration though the implementation of an internal bomb bay generated a rather portly fuselage appearance. At its core, the XA-32 certainly appeared a serviceable mark, with well-rounded mid-set monoplane wings, a forward-set cockpit, front-mounted radial piston engine and conventional tail unit and undercarriage. Power was developed from a single Pratt & Whitney R-2800 series air-cooled radial piston engine driving a four-bladed propeller assembly. Primary armament was to be 8 x 0.50 Browning heavy machine guns. As a bomber, the XA-32 was given provision for 1,000lb bombs under each wing and a 1,000lb munition in the internal bomb bay.

During formal evaluation of the XA-32 in 1943, the aircraft came in underpowered and heavy. An attempt to improved performance was made by fitting of the Pratt & Whitney R-4360 "Wasp Major" air-cooled radial engine of 3,000 horsepower but this did little to circumvent inherently gross problems in the design. The initial prototype managed a cruising speed of less than 200 miles per hour and this was without its intended armament in place. Furthermore, ranges under a combat load were equally limited to just 500 miles - hardly acceptable as a military-minded mount that would be called to attack targets over long distances. A second prototype - the XA-32A - emerged and this was eventually fitted with 4 x 20mm cannons but even this form failed to improved upon the original in any way.

The forgettable XA-32 was officially cancelled in 1944 and the disastrous effort that was the XA-32 ultimately doomed the Brewster Aeronautical Corporation in full - becoming its last foray into aircraft design and development, the company dismantled on April 5th, 1946 after years of utterly terrible management. Its primary claim to fame would forever be the equally-portly "Brewster Buffalo" of the late 1930s/early 1940s which had beaten out the classic Grumman F4F Wildcat as the first US Navy monoplane carrier-borne fighter. The USAAC instead moved forward and procured the North American A-36A "Apache" series in number (500 examples) - a dedicated ground attack version of the famous P-51 Mustang - for its strike/dive bombing needs. This aircraft gave a good account of itself in limited, interim service before they, themselves, were replaced by improved ground-attack-minded P-51 and Republic P-47 Thunderbolt fighter-bombers.


Picture of the Brewster XA-32 Ground Attack / Dive Bomber Aircraft Prototype
Picture of the Brewster XA-32 Ground Attack / Dive Bomber Aircraft Prototype



Any available statistics for the Brewster XA-32 Ground Attack / Dive Bomber Aircraft Prototype are showcased in the areas immediately below. Categories include basic specifications covering country-of-origin, operational status, manufacture(s) and total quantitative production. Other qualities showcased are related to structural values (namely dimensions), installed power and standard day performance figures, installed or proposed armament and mission equipment (if any), global users (from A-to-Z) and series model variants (if any).




Cockpit picture from the Brewster XA-32 Ground Attack / Dive Bomber Aircraft Prototype
Brewster XA-32 Cockpit Picture


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: 400mph
Lo: 200mph
    This entry's maximum listed speed (311mph).

    Graph average of 300 miles-per-hour.
City-to-City Ranges
NYC
 
  LON
LON
 
  PAR
PAR
 
  BER
BER
 
  MOS
MOS
 
  TOK
TOK
 
  SYD
SYD
 
  LAX
LAX
 
  NYC
Graph showcases the Brewster XA-32'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
2
2


  * Commercial Market High belongs to Cessna 172.

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


  Compare this entry against other aircraft using our Comparison Tool  
National Flag Graphic
Origin: United States
Year: 1943
Type: Ground Attack / Dive Bomber Aircraft Prototype
Manufacturer(s): Brewster Aeronautical Corporation - USA
Production: 2
Global Operators:
United States
Historical 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 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 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
* Ribbons not necessarily indicative of actual historical campaign ribbons. Ribbons are clickable to their respective campaigns/operations.
Measurements and Weights icon
Structural - Crew, Dimensions, and Weights:
Unless otherwise noted the presented statistics below pertain to the Brewster XA-32 model. Common measurements, and their respective conversions, are shown when possible.

Operational
CREW


Personnel
1


Dimension
LENGTH


Feet
40.49 ft


Meters
12.34 m


Dimension
WIDTH


Feet
44.88 ft


Meters
13.68 m


Weight
EMPTY


Pounds
13,481 lb


Kilograms
6,115 kg

Engine icon
Installed Power - Standard Day Performance:
1 x Pratt & Whitney R-2800-37 air-cooled radial piston engine developing 2,100 horsepower.

Performance
SPEED


Miles-per-Hour
311 mph


Kilometers-per-Hour
500 kph


Knots
270 kts


Performance
RANGE


Miles
500 mi


Kilometers
805 km


Nautical Miles
435 nm

Supported Weapon Systems:

Graphical image of an aircraft medium machine gun
Graphical image of an aircraft heavy machine gun
Graphical image of an aircrat automatic cannon
Armament - Hardpoints (2):

XA-32:
8 x 12.7mm Browning heavy machine guns

XA-32A:
4 x 20mm cannons

OPTIONAL:
Up to 3,000lbs of internal (1,000lbs) and external (2,000lbs - underwing) stores.
Variants: Series Model Variants
• XA-32 - Base Series Designation; fitted with 8 x 12.7mm machine guns.
• XA-32A - Second prototype fitted with 4 x 20mm cannons.