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Bell D-35

Rocket-Powered Bomber-Interceptor Proposal

United States | 1946

"The Bell D-35 was drawn up as a possible counter to the emerging Soviet nuclear-capable bomber threat following World War 2."

Power & Performance
Those special qualities that separate one aircraft design from another. Performance specifications presented assume optimal operating conditions for the Bell D-35 Rocket-Powered Bomber-Interceptor Proposal.
2 x Rocket booster motors generating 12,000lb of thrust each for high-speed, short-term flight.
699 mph
1,125 kph | 607 kts
Max Speed
50,033 ft
15,250 m | 9 miles
Service Ceiling
The nose-to-tail, wingtip-to-wingtip physical qualities of the Bell D-35 Rocket-Powered Bomber-Interceptor Proposal.
28.1 ft
8.55 m
O/A Length
29.2 ft
(8.90 m)
O/A Width
17,196 lb
(7,800 kg)
Empty Weight
29,101 lb
(13,200 kg)
Available supported armament and special-mission equipment featured in the design of the Bell D-35 Rocket-Powered Bomber-Interceptor Proposal .
4 x 0.50 caliber (12.7mm) Browning air-cooled Heavy Machine Guns (HMGs).
Notable series variants as part of the Bell D-35 family line.
D-35 - Base Series Designation.
Authored By: Staff Writer | Last Edited: 05/19/2022 | Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com | The following text is exclusive to this site; No A.I. was used in the generation of this content.

The Bell D-35 was conceived of as a potential bomber-interceptor for the United States Army Air Forces (USAAF) towards the close of World War 2 (1939-1945). With the dismantling of the Italian, German, and Japanese war machines, the United States would now concentrate of airspace deterrence / defense from the Soviet threat in the East. Various design competitions were had in 1945 for just a solution - resulting in the ultimately-abandoned D-35.

The USAAF requirement called for an interceptor capable of reaching 700 miles-per-hour, achieving short-term supersonic performance through both aerodynamic design and powerplant. This aircraft would be capable of flying upwards of 50,000 of altitude to meet the threat head-on and rate-of-climb would have the system reach this in just four minutes under full power. In keeping with USAAF wartime tradition, the proposed armament fit would center on multiple machine guns, in this case 4 x 12.7mm air-cooled Browning heavies.

Bell was one of six respondents to this requirement, joining competitors Consolidated Vultee, Douglas, North American, Northrop, and Republic Aviation.

Because turbojet technology of the time would not allow for the needed thrust / power / speed output to get the aircraft up to altitude at-speed, it was decided that a rocket motor would be the best fit for the requirement. For the Bell submission, this would include a pairing of two rocket boosters for maximum performance set to output 12,000lb.

The resulting Bell design of October 1945 was centered on a delta-wing planform (45-degree sweep along the leading edges) with the single-seat cockpit over the nose and the vertical tail fins set at each wingtip. The mainplanes were shoulder-mounted along the sides of the fuselage with the propulsion system buried within. This unit would exhaust through a circular opening at the rear of the fuselage between the two mainplane trailing edges. The four machine guns were to be installed under the nose, beneath the cockpit floor, to give the aircraft an appropriate offensive punch against enemy bombers.

Like other rocket-driven developments of the day, the Bell proposal would be launched unconventionally, most likely by launch rail under its own booster power. This is assumed as only a pair of main landing gear legs were planned for ground-running actions along with skids added to each wingtip fin to allow the aircraft to land in an open field under its own weight and drag.

As drawn up, the fighter was to have an overall length of 28 feet, a wingspan of 26.5 feet, and a gross weight nearing 17,000lb - this ballooning to 29,100lb when fully laden.

Despite the work, the D-35 was not evolved beyond the paper stage - the requirement moving along the lines of the Consolidated Vultee and Republic Aviation submissions, leaving the D-35 with no further purpose. The two x-planes to come from this decision were the Republic XP-91/XF-91 and the CONVAIR XP-92, both detailed elsewhere on this site.

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Global customers who have evaluated and/or operated the Bell D-35. Nations are displayed by flag, each linked to their respective national aircraft listing.

Total Production: 0 Units

Contractor(s): Bell Aircraft - USA
National flag of the United States

[ United States (cancelled) ]
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Image of the Bell D-35
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