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Wallace-Martin Model A

Carrierborne Heavy Fighter Proposal [ 1941 ]

The little known Wallace-Martin Model A of the World War 2 period was to feature a push-pull engine configuration and twin tailboom arrangement.

Authored By: Staff Writer | Last Edited: 07/29/2021 | Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com | The following text is exclusive to this site.

Proposed against United States Navy (USN) Specification SD-112-18 in 1941, the Wallace-Martin Model A was intended to fulfill the role of the service's next, all-modern carrierborne fighter. The design included a rather unique twin-engine, twin-boom configuration including tractor/trailing propeller units and was to feature machine gun or cannon armament. For its time, this hevay fighter would have been an imposing adversary should the design have come to fruition though, as fate would have it, the Model A went on to become nothing more than a footnote in American military aviation history concerning the World War 2 period (1939-1945).

This USN requirement was rather steep for 1940-1941 and sought a solution with a minimum speed of 400 miles-per-hour, a service ceiling of 35,000 feet, and operational range of 1,000 miles. Available platforms of the time included the Grumman F4F "Wildcat" single-seat, single-engine monoplane fighter of 1940 which could manage a top speed of just over 330mph.

The Wallace-Martin Model A proposal centralized its single-seat cockpit in the twin-boom arrangement. This included both engines and fuel stores bookending the pilot's position with the forward engine driving a three-bladed propeller unit at front and the rear-set engine managing a three-bladed propeller at the extreme rear of the fuselage nacelle. The push-pull power was to drive the Model A to exceptional speeds. The cockpit section offered rather good vision as the sides, rear, and front of the position were glazed. Automobile-style doors (ala the Bell P-39 "Airacobra") allowed the necessary entry/exit for the pilot. The undercarriage was to have been of tricycle arrangement with the nose leg retracting under the nose/cockpit section and each main leg positioned under each tail boom. As a carrier-based fighter, the Model A was to feature folding wing mainplanes for improved storage.

The monoplane wing mainplane was of large-area design with rounded tips and low-mounting along the sides of the fuselage. From each wing member emanated a tail boom component which ran rearwards and the two were joined by a shared horizontal plane at center. Each boom was capped by a vertical tail fin of rounded edges and limited surface area.

Armament was to center on 6 x 0.50 caliber Browning Heavy Machine Guns (HMGs) with a pair seated in the nose assembly (synchronized to fire through the spinning forward propeller blades) and two each to be placed in the wing leading edges ahead of each tailboom. Provision was also given to replace the entire machine gun battery with 4 x 20mm automatic cannons at a future date.

Power was to stem from 2 x Lycoming XH-2470-4 "H-engine" units developing 2,000 horsepower each to drive the twin three-bladed propellers. Assuming the propellers spun in contra-rotating fashion, natural torque would have been canceled out, making for a steady flying and fighting platform. The XH-2470 had its roots in the Lycoming O-1230 but remained in an experimental stage for the duration of its life, fitted only to the experimental Vultee XP-54 twin-boom heavy fighter (detailed elsewhere on this site) and never adopted for any serial production aircraft.

As drawn up, the Model A was given an overall length of 45.5 feet and wingspan of 46 feet. Gross weight reached 15,000lb. Estimated maximum speed was 430 miles-per-hour (16,000 feet of altitude) with a service ceiling near 38,000 feet and range out to 1,020 miles.

Despite all this, the Wallace-Martin submission joined offerings from defense players in Bell, Boeing, Brewster, McDonnell, and Naval Aircraft Factory in not being selected. The requirement eventually evolved to become the F7F "Tigercat" carrierborne heavy fighter twin of the late-war years which went on to see notable service in the upcoming Korean War (1950-1953).©MilitaryFactory.com
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Service Year

United States national flag graphic
United States

Development Ended.


Wallace-Martin Aircraft Corpoation - USA
(View other Aviaton-Related Manufacturers)
National flag of the United States United States (cancelled)
(OPERATORS list includes past, present, and future operators when applicable)
General ability to actively engage other aircraft of similar form and function, typically through guns, missiles, and/or aerial rockets.
Ability to intercept inbound aerial threats by way of high-performance, typically speed and rate-of-climb.
Land-based or shipborne capability for operating over-water in various maritime-related roles while supported by allied naval surface elements.
Aircraft developed for the role of prototyping, technology demonstration, or research / data collection.

Survivability enhanced by armor allocated to protect pilot / crewspaces and / or critical operating systems.
Incorporates two or more engines, enhancing survivability and / or performance.
Design incorporates rear-facing pusher-prop arrangement, a contrast to the more conventional puller-prop layout.
Mainplanes are designed to fold, improving storage on land and at sea.
Inherent ability of airframe to take considerable damage.
Can accelerate to higher speeds than average aircraft of its time.
Can reach and operate at higher altitudes than average aircraft of its time.
Capability to travel considerable distances through onboard fuel stores.
Design covers the three all-important performance categories of speed, altitude, and range.
Ability to operate over ocean in addition to surviving the special rigors of the maritime environment.
Manual process of allowing its pilot and / or crew to exit in the event of an airborne emergency.
Supports pressurization required at higher operating altitudes for crew survival.
Features partially- or wholly-enclosed crew workspaces.
Features retracting / retractable undercarriage to preserve aerodynamic efficiency.

45.4 ft
(13.85 m)
46.1 ft
(14.05 m)
12.3 ft
(3.75 m)
Empty Wgt
9,921 lb
(4,500 kg)
15,002 lb
(6,805 kg)
Wgt Diff
+5,082 lb
(+2,305 kg)
(Showcased structural values pertain to the base Wallace-Martin Model A production variant)
monoplane / low-mounted / straight
Design utilizes a single primary wing mainplane; this represents the most popular modern mainplane arrangement.
Mainplanes are low-mounted along the sides of the fuselage.
The planform involves use of basic, straight mainplane members.
(Structural descriptors pertain to the base Wallace-Martin Model A production variant)
Installed: PROPOSED: 2 x Lycoming XH-2470-4 H-engines developing 2,000 horsepower each driving 2 x Three-bladed propellers, one arranged in pusher fashion and the other in puller.
Max Speed
432 mph
(695 kph | 375 kts)
Cruise Speed
373 mph
(600 kph | 324 kts)
Max. Speed Diff
+59 mph
(+95 kph | 51 kts)
38,107 ft
(11,615 m | 7 mi)
1,022 mi
(1,645 km | 888 nm)
2,500 ft/min
(762 m/min)

♦ MACH Regime (Sonic)
RANGES (MPH) Subsonic: <614mph | Transonic: 614-921 | Supersonic: 921-3836 | Hypersonic: 3836-7673 | Hi-Hypersonic: 7673-19180 | Reentry: >19030

(Showcased performance specifications pertain to the base Wallace-Martin Model A 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)
2 x 0.50 caliber Browning Heavy Machine Guns (HMGs) in nose assembly, synchronized to fire through the spinning propeller blades.
4 x 0.50 caliber Browning HMGs in wing leading edges, two machine guns per wing member.

4 x 20mm automatic cannons were to succeed the machine gun arrangement at a future date.

Supported Types

Graphical image of an aircraft medium machine gun
Graphical image of an aircraft heavy machine gun
Graphical image of an aircraft automatic cannon

(Not all ordnance types may be represented in the showcase above)

Model A - Base Project Designation.

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