Prior to the American entry into World War 2 (1939-1945), the United States Navy (USN) looked to fulfill a maritime patrol aircraft requirement centered around a flying boat design. Consolidated Aircraft responded with their XP4Y "Corregidor" which recorded its first-flight on May 5th, 1939. Due to wartime demands, and despite a hundreds-strong production order being signed, the design was cancelled with just the sole flying prototype completed.
Consolidated developed the XP4Y under the in-house "Model 31" designator and work began in 1938. As a sleek, all-modern / all-metal, aerodynamically-refined design, the aircraft incorporated a high-mounted wing mainplane assembly atop its fuselage for inherently good lifting qualities and to keep the engines far from ocean spray. Each mainplane carried a single, nacelled engine unit at its leading edge as well as retractable floats for waterborne balancing. The nose section was stepped to provide good views out over the nose for the pilots (seated side-by-side) and the lower fuselage section was designed with a boat-like hull for waterborne landings and takeoffs. The tail unit comprised a shared horizontal plane straddled by vertical tailplanes.
Two of its features - the twin rudder tail and the high-wing mainplanes -would later be used in Consolidated's classic World War 2 heavy bomber, the B-24 "Liberator", detailed elsewhere on this site.
As designed, the aircraft had a running length of 74 feet with a wingspan reaching 110 feet and an overall height of 25.1 feet. Weight reached 48,000lb gross. Proposed power was from 2 x Wright R-3350-8 "Cyclone 18" series air-cooled radials with each unit outputting 2,300 horsepower. Performance specs included a maximum speed of nearly 250 miles per hour with cruising done closer to 135mph. Range was out to 3,300 miles and its service ceiling reached 21,400 feet. Rate-of-climb was 1,230 feet-per-minute.
Proposed armament centered on a turreted, bow-mounted 37mm autocannon. A dorsal and tail turret position were each to receive 2 x 0.50 caliber Browning M2 heavy machine guns and the aircraft would have carried the typical USN drop bombs and depth charges of the day for attack.
Beyond its military value, the Model 31 was also being developed for possible civilian marketplace operation. In this guise, the aircraft would have been modified to carry over fifty passengers in comfort - this was, after all, the Golden Age of the long-range flying boat for passenger air travel.
The first-flight of the Model 31 in May of 1939 showcased a well-performing, well-handling aircraft for its class. USN authorities liked what they saw and committed to the type as the "XP4Y-1" while it continued to undergo development into 1940. A production contract for 200 of the type was then signed and these would be built at an all-new Consolidated plant being constructed in New Orleans, Louisiana.
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(OPERATORS list includes past, present, and future operators when applicable)
✓Special-Mission: Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW)
Equipped to search, track, and engage enemy underwater elements by way of specialized onboard equipment and weapons.
Equipped to search, track, and engage enemy surface elements through visual acquisition, radar support, and onboard weaponry.
✓Special-Mission: Search & Rescue (SAR)
Ability to locate and extract personnel from areas of potential harm or peril (i.e. downed airmen in the sea).
✓Maritime / Navy
Land-based or shipborne capability for operating over-water in various maritime-related roles while supported by allied naval surface elements.
Used in roles serving the commercial aviation market, ferrying both passengers and goods over range.
Used in the Very-Important-Person (VIP) passenger transport role, typically with above-average amenities and luxuries as standard.
✓Intelligence-Surveillance-Reconnaissance (ISR), Scout
Surveil ground targets / target areas to assess environmental threat levels, enemy strength, or enemy movement.
74.1 ft (22.60 m)
110.1 ft (33.55 m)
25.1 ft (7.65 m)
36,376 lb (16,500 kg)
48,061 lb (21,800 kg)
+11,684 lb (+5,300 kg)
(Showcased structural values pertain to the base Consolidated XP4Y Corregidor production variant)
(Showcased performance specifications pertain to the base Consolidated XP4Y Corregidor production variant. Performance specifications showcased above are subject to environmental factors as well as aircraft configuration. Estimates are made when Real Data not available. Compare this aircraft entry against any other in our database or View aircraft by powerplant type)
1 x 37mm autocannon in nose.
2 x 0.50 caliber Browning M2 Heavy Machine Guns (HMGs) in dorsal position.
2 x 0.50 caliber Browning M2 Heavy Machine Guns (HMGs) in tail position.
Up to 4,000lb of stores to include drop bombs and depth charges.
(Not all ordnance types may be represented in the showcase above)
Hardpoint Mountings: 0
XP4Y-1 "Corregidor" - Base Series Name; single flyable prototype example completed.
Values are derrived from a variety of categories related to the design, overall function, and historical influence of this aircraft in aviation history.
The overall rating takes into account over 60 individual factors related to this aircraft entry.
Rating is out of a possible 100 points.
Relative Maximum Speed
This entry's maximum listed speed (249mph).
Graph average of 225 miles-per-hour.
Consolidated XP4Y Corregidor operational range when compared to distances between major cities (in KM).
Max Altitude Visualization
The three qualities reflected above are altitude, speed, and range.
Aviation Era Span
Showcasing era cross-over of this aircraft design.
Unit Production (1)
Compared against Ilyushin IL-2 (military) and Cessna 172 (civilian).
Ribbon graphics not necessarily indicative of actual historical campaign ribbons. Ribbons are clickable to their respective aerial campaigns / operations / aviation periods.
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