×
Aviation & Aerospace - Airpower 2024 - Aircraft by Country - Aircraft Manufacturers Vehicles & Artillery - Armor 2024 - Armor by Country - Armor Manufacturers Infantry Small Arms - Warfighter 2024 - Small Arms by Country - Arms Manufacturers Warships & Submarines - Navies 2024 - Ships by Country - Shipbuilders U.S. Military Pay 2024 Military Ranks Special Forces by Country

Kaiser-Fleetwings XBTK


Prototype Dive Bomber / Torpedo Bomber


United States | 1945



"The single-seat Kaiser-Fleetwings XBTK naval bomber prototype was produced in just five prototypes and never adopted."



Authored By: Staff Writer | Last Edited: 04/01/2019 | Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com | The following text is exclusive to this site; No A.I. was used in the generation of this content.
The "escort carrier" was adopted by the United States Navy during World War 2 (1939-1945) to provide an aircraft carrier-type vessel that was comparably smaller in dimension to full-sized carriers but could be produced at a much quicker pace during wartime. This led to the USN need for lighter-minded bomber/strike aircraft to stock this growing light carrier fleet. In turn, this need produced a 1943 requirement which was answered by the Kaiser-Fleetwings concern. Kaiser-Fleetwings was formed by the merger of Kaiser Cargo and Fleetwings and from this pairing emerged a January 1944 proposal for such an aircraft. To date, the Kaiser company made a wartime profit from shipbuilding while Fleetwings contributed to aircraft production for other companies.

The USN responded with a formal go-ahead in February of 1944. The specification would bring about a single-seat, single-engine, carrier-based dive bomber in two prototype forms under the "XBK"designation. Power would come from a Pratt & Whitney R-2800-22W radial piston engine and armament to be cannon-centric (2 x cannon featured in the wings). Of course there would be ordnance carrying capabilities and this set across three hardpoints total hardpoints - one fuselage centerline and two under the wings. Additional underwing space would be reserved for the carrying (and launching) of 8 x aerial rockets. The wings were also designed to fold for improved storage aboard the light carriers.

In March of 1944, the USN returned with an increased order for five aircraft.

By the fall of 1944, Kaiser-Fleetwings - with no experience in designing and developing combat fighter aircraft - produced a mockup for review. The USN now contracted for 17 pre-production units in October though authorities were now more interested in a torpedo-carrying attack aircraft than a dive bomber. As such, Kaiser-Fleetwings revised their original design, which increased the centerline hardpoint tolerance to carry a single USN-standard torpedo, and this begat the "XBT-1" designation of February 1945.

As completed, the XBTK-1 was a very nice looking aircraft with a form akin to the Vietnam War-era Douglas A-1 "Skyraider". The XBTK-1 featured a forward-mounted engine compartment with forward-set cockpit, the later under a teardrop-shaped bubble canopy for excellent vision out-of-the-cockpit. The monoplane wings sat low along the fuselage sides in the usual way and were properly strengthened for the rigors of carrier-based service. The fuselage was well contoured and tapered to the empennage to which a large-area vertical tail fin was affixed. Horizontal tailplanes were mid-mounted along the fin sides. The undercarriage - wholly retractable and featuring the requisite arrestor hook - was of the "trail-dragger" configuration showcasing two main landing gear legs and a diminutive tail wheel. A special exhaust system was installed which attempted to turn cooling drag into additional thrust. As a low-level attack aircraft, the XBTK-1 was also given the requisite self-sealing fuel tanks seen in other aircraft of the period and the cockpit was armored for improved pilot survivability.

Progress on the XBTK-1 was a slow affair while the war evolved at a quickened pace. First flight was not recorded until April 12th, 1945 and subsequent testing eventually saw the original -22W engine replaced with the supercharged Pratt & Whitney R-2800-34W engine of 2,100 horsepower to drive the four-blade propeller assembly. Performance specifications included a maximum speed of 373 miles per hour, a range out to 1,400 miles and a service ceiling of 33,400 feet.

Further testing also forced some changes to the design - special cowls were added around the engine casing to help with overheating issues and the special exhaust feature - promising a performance boost - did not produce as expected - it just added complexity to an already complex design. On the whole, however, Kaiser-Fleetwings submission was quite a solid one and certainly promising in the scope of the USN requirement. The aircraft was eventually delivered to USN hands for additional review.

In September of 1945, World War 2 had come to its official close. This spelled the death for many-a-promising aircraft venture including the Kaiser-Fleetwings torpedo bomber. Some five aircraft were eventually completed with four of these flyable. The massive American defense drawdown in both military products and budget after the war left little room to grow such programs as the XBTK-1 and this signaled the end of the road for the machine.

Content ©MilitaryFactory.com; No Reproduction Permitted.
Power & Performance
Those special qualities that separate one aircraft design from another. Performance specifications presented assume optimal operating conditions for the Kaiser-Fleetwings XBTK Prototype Dive Bomber / Torpedo Bomber.
1 x Pratt & Whitney R-2800-34W 18-cylinder radial piston engine developing 2,100 horsepower.
Propulsion
373 mph
600 kph | 324 kts
Max Speed
33,399 ft
10,180 m | 6 miles
Service Ceiling
1,367 miles
2,200 km | 1,188 nm
Operational Range
3,550 ft/min
1,082 m/min
Rate-of-Climb
City-to-City Ranges
Operational range when compared to distances between major cities (in KM).
NYC
 
  LON
LON
 
  PAR
PAR
 
  BER
BER
 
  MOS
MOS
 
  TOK
TOK
 
  SYD
SYD
 
  LAX
LAX
 
  NYC
Structure
The nose-to-tail, wingtip-to-wingtip physical qualities of the Kaiser-Fleetwings XBTK Prototype Dive Bomber / Torpedo Bomber.
1
(MANNED)
Crew
38.9 ft
11.86 m
O/A Length
48.7 ft
(14.83 m)
O/A Width
15.7 ft
(4.78 m)
O/A Height
9,965 lb
(4,520 kg)
Empty Weight
15,785 lb
(7,160 kg)
MTOW
Design Balance
The three qualities reflected below are altitude, speed, and range. The more full the box, the more balanced the design.
RANGE
ALT
SPEED
Armament
Available supported armament and special-mission equipment featured in the design of the Kaiser-Fleetwings XBTK Prototype Dive Bomber / Torpedo Bomber .
STANDARD:
2 x 20mm cannons

OPTIONAL:
Up to 3,000lbs of external stores across a centerline and two underwing stations for conventional drop ordnance or a torpedo. Also support for 8 x 5" High Velocity Aerial Rockets (HVARs).
Variants
Notable series variants as part of the Kaiser-Fleetwings XBTK family line.
XBTK - Base Series Designation
XBTK-1 - Base prototype designation
Operators
Global customers who have evaluated and/or operated the Kaiser-Fleetwings XBTK. Nations are displayed by flag, each linked to their respective national aircraft listing.

Total Production: 5 Units

Contractor(s): Kaiser-Fleetwings - USA
National flag of the United States

[ United States ]
Relative Max Speed
Hi: 400mph
Lo: 200mph
Aircraft Max Listed Speed (373mph).

Graph Average of 300 MPH.
Era Crossover
Pie graph section
Showcasing Aircraft Era Crossover (if any)
Max Alt Visualization
Small airplane graphic
Production Comparison
5
36183
44000
Entry compared against Ilyushin IL-2 (military) and Cessna 172 (civilian) total production.
MACH Regime (Sonic)
Sub
Trans
Super
Hyper
HiHyper
ReEntry
RANGES (MPH) Subsonic: <614mph | Transonic: 614-921 | Supersonic: 921-3836 | Hypersonic: 3836-7673 | Hi-Hypersonic: 7673-19180 | Reentry: >19030
Aviation Timeline
EarlyYrs
WWI
Interwar
WWII
ColdWar
Postwar
Modern
Future
1 / 1
Image of the Kaiser-Fleetwings XBTK
Front right side view of the Kaiser-Fleetwings XBTK-1 prototype aircraft.

Mission Roles
Some designs are single-minded in their approach while others offer a more versatile solution to airborne requirements.
GROUND ATTACK
X-PLANE
Recognition
Some designs stand the test of time while others are doomed to never advance beyond the drawing board; let history be their judge.
Going Further...
The Kaiser-Fleetwings XBTK Prototype Dive Bomber / Torpedo Bomber appears in the following collections:
HOME
AVIATION INDEX
AIRCRAFT BY COUNTRY
AIRCRAFT MANUFACTURERS
COMPARE AIRCRAFT
AIRCRAFT BY CONFLICT
AIRCRAFT BY TYPE
AIRCRAFT BY DECADE
WWII AIRCRAFT
X-PLANE AIRCRAFT
Disclaimer | Privacy Policy | Cookies

2024 Military Pay Scale Military Ranks U.S. DoD Dictionary Conversion Calculators Military Alphabet Code Military Map Symbols US 5-Star Generals WW2 Weapons by Country

The "Military Factory" name and MilitaryFactory.com logo are registered ® U.S. trademarks protected by all applicable domestic and international intellectual property laws. All written content, illustrations, and photography are unique to this website (unless where indicated) and not for reuse/reproduction in any form. Material presented throughout this website is for historical and entertainment value only and should not to be construed as usable for hardware restoration, maintenance, or general operation. We do not sell any of the items showcased on this site. Please direct all other inquiries to militaryfactory AT gmail.com. No A.I. was used in the generation of this content.

Part of a network of sites that includes Global Firepower, WDMMA.org, WDMMW.org, and World War Next.


©2024 www.MilitaryFactory.com • All Rights Reserved • Content ©2003-2024 (21yrs)