The Vought VS-302 was drawn up to satisfy a 1939 United States Army Air Corps (USAAC) requirement covering a twin-engined, medium-class bomber aircraft capable of flying at speeds around 300 miles-per-hour out to a range of 2,000 miles while carrying a war load of up to 3,000lb. The requirement, XC-213, was eventually fulfilled by two classic American war time designs, the North American B-25 "Mitchell" and the Martin B-26 "Marauder". The Chance Vought VS-302, therefore, fell by the wayside and is largely forgotten today.
Like other medium twins, the VS-302 was to carry shoulder-mounted mainplanes each with underslung engine nacelles. The nose section was heavily glazed and the cockpit (also glazed) was stepped for optimal viewing. The fuselage was deep and squared-off along its ventral edges while dorsal lines were relatively smooth and rounded. At the waist were positioned blister gun positions for defense and additional defense would come from guns mounted at the nose and ventral-aft locations - attempting to provide all-round coverage. The bomb bay resided towards the nose and could house between 2,000 and 2,200 lb of drop-ordnance. A "tail-dragger" undercarriage would provide the needed ground-running capability - though of note was the positioning of the tail wheel at the fuselage's extreme aft-end. To round out the physical qualities of this proposed aircraft, a twin-rudder fin tail unit was used.
The mainplanes at the engine nacelles held straight lines at both leading and trailing edges while the outboard sections tapered towards the wing tips for a most unique shaping of the planform when viewed from the top-down perspective. Each engine would drive three-bladed propeller units and power was to come from 2 x Wright R-2600 air-cooled radials or 2 x Pratt & Whitney R-2800 radial units. VS-302A was used by Vought covered the former and VS-302B was used to cover the latter.
As finalized, VS-302 had an overall length of 51.9 feet with a span reaching 75 feet. Weight was listed at 26,000lb to 27,000lb depending on internal loads (including fuel stores). Estimated maximum speeds were between 290 and 350 miles-per-hour with a service ceiling between 30,000 feet and 35,000 feet.
In any event, this Vought submission was passed over by the competition and ended its days as nothing more than a "paper airplane".
(OPERATORS list includes past, present, and future operators when applicable)
✓Ground Attack (Bombing, Strafing)
Ability to conduct aerial bombing of ground targets by way of (but not limited to) guns, bombs, missiles, rockets, and the like.
✓X-Plane (Developmental, Prototype, Technology Demonstrator)
Aircraft developed for the role of prototyping, technology demonstration, or research / data collection.
51.8 ft (15.80 m)
75.0 ft (22.85 m)
27,227 lb (12,350 kg)
(Showcased structural values pertain to the base Vought VS-302 production variant)
2 x Wright R-2600 air-cooled radial piston engines OR 2 x Pratt & Whitney R-2800 air-cooled radial piston engines of unknown output power each driving three-bladed propeller units.
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