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Kaiser-Fleetwings XA-39


Ground Attack Aircraft Proposal


United States | 1942



"The Kaiser-Fleetwings XA-39 attack platform only managed a mockup form before the project was terminated amidst changing U.S. Army requirements."



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.
To help fulfill a standing U.S. Army attack aircraft requirement, little-known Kaiser-Fleetwings developed a large, single-seat / single-engine conventional monoplane under the "XA-39" designation. The type competed with a collection of other similar offerings but never materialized beyond the mockup stage by which point the Army had moved from its focus on single-engined heavy attackers to twin-engined types and the XA-39 fell to history.

Founded in 1929, Fleetwings was born in Bristol, Pennsylvania and was acquired in 1943 by Kaiser to produce the "Kaiser-Fleetwings" brand label. The brand only saw a few wartime aircraft designs but none ever achieved any sort of notoriety. The company continued operations into the post-war years by which point it was involved in the American space program before closing its doors for good in 1962.

The XA-39 was developed for the ground attack role and this meant a large and rugged, reliable aircraft capable of absorbing punishment from ground-based fire and dealing with the stresses of diving and quick turns. Range was also an important quality as loitering over contested zones was a priority. Typically these aircraft types were required to carry considerable ordnance loads - guns, cannons, rockets, and drop bombs. To power the new design, Kaiser-Fleetwings engineers selected the massive Pratt & Whitney R-2800 series radial piston engine of 2,100 horsepower output and this would be used to drive a three-bladed propeller unit at the nose.

Its overall configuration saw the engine at front with the cockpit immediately aft - though the latter fitted well-forward of midships itself. The pilot was given relatively good views from a slightly-framed canopy. Wings were monoplane appendages and the tail unit was of a standard, single-finned arrangement. The undercarriage utilized a typical "tail dragger" configuration. As with other American warplanes of the period, particularly those expected to fly "low-and-slow", cockpit and engine armoring was to be standard as were self-sealing fuel tanks. Overall dimensions of the XA-39 were a length of 42.8 feet and wingspan of 55.8 feet.

Proposed armament became 2 x 37mm autocannons and up to 4 x 0.50 caliber Heavy Machine Guns (HMGs), all presumably fitted to the wings. An internal weapons bay was to cover the bombing requirement - 6 x 500lb bombs (or equivalent) would envisioned as a standard load.

Engineers estimated the radial engine coupled to the streamlined design would provide the aircraft with a maximum speed of 357 miles per hour when cruising at 16,600 feet. Climb rate would have been 2,040 feet-per-minute and a service ceiling of 27,800 feet being reported. Operational range was out to 1,400 miles.

As previously stated, Army authorities gradually moved away from single-engined attack types and settled on twin-engine platforms for the duration of the war (which ended in 1945). By the end, the single-engined attack type had returned to the forefront of Army plans and classics such as the Douglas "Skyraider" emerged to take the mantle.

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Power & Performance
Those special qualities that separate one aircraft design from another. Performance specifications presented assume optimal operating conditions for the Kaiser-Fleetwings XA-39 Ground Attack Aircraft Proposal.
1 x Pratt & Whitney R-2800-27 radial piston engine developing 2,000 horsepower.
Propulsion
357 mph
575 kph | 310 kts
Max Speed
27,805 ft
8,475 m | 5 miles
Service Ceiling
1,401 miles
2,255 km | 1,218 nm
Operational Range
2,040 ft/min
622 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 XA-39 Ground Attack Aircraft Proposal.
1
(MANNED)
Crew
42.7 ft
13.03 m
O/A Length
55.8 ft
(17.00 m)
O/A Width
20,503 lb
(9,300 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 XA-39 Ground Attack Aircraft Proposal .
PROPOSED:

Standard, Fixed (never fitted):
2 x 37mm cannons
4 x 0.50 caliber Browning Heavy Machine Guns (HMGs)

Optional:
6 x 500lb conventional drop bombs OR 2 x 1,600lb drop bombs in internal weapons bay.
Variants
Notable series variants as part of the Kaiser-Fleetwings XA-39 family line.
XA-39 - Base Product Designation
A-39 - Assumed production model designation
Operators
Global customers who have evaluated and/or operated the Kaiser-Fleetwings XA-39. Nations are displayed by flag, each linked to their respective national aircraft listing.

Total Production: 0 Units

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

[ United States (cancelled) ]
Relative Max Speed
Hi: 400mph
Lo: 200mph
Aircraft Max Listed Speed (357mph).

Graph Average of 300 MPH.
Era Crossover
Pie graph section
Showcasing Aircraft Era Crossover (if any)
Max Alt Visualization
Small airplane graphic
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
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1 / 1
Image of the Kaiser-Fleetwings XA-39
Artist Impression; Image copyright www.MilitaryFactory.com; No Reproduction Permitted.

Mission Roles
Some designs are single-minded in their approach while others offer a more versatile solution to airborne requirements.
GROUND ATTACK
CLOSE-AIR SUPPORT
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 XA-39 Ground Attack Aircraft Proposal appears in the following collections:
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