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GOT: The Douglas B-19


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#1 Romantic Technofreak

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Posted 16 March 2006 - 04:06 AM

I found a chance to produce a "cheap" GOT series article by collecting information and pictures about the Douglas XB-19. There is not too much to write about its unspectacular career. So I thought to interweave the two articles from the USAF museum website

http://www.nationalm...eet.asp?id=2489

about the XB-19 and the upgrade XB-19A into one and to take the best colour pictures to be found on the net, the first three from http://www.military..../b19/b19_en.htm and the last one from  [dead link http://community.web...015913979YsWcoE], which also suggest that the B-19 also once appeared during a mid-1941 propaganda event. Now please read about


The Douglas XB-19

The Douglas XB-19 was originally designated XBLR-2 (eXperimental Bomber Long-Range 2) and was the largest bomber built for the Army up to that time (1938). Only three aircraft were given XBLR designations: the Boeing XBLR-1 was later renamed XB-15, the XB-19, and the Sikorsky XBLR-3 was a design study which was never built.

The XB-19 was essentially used as a test bed for very large bomber construction techniques and flight characteristics. The Douglas Aircraft Company actually wanted to cancel the project because of the expense and extended construction time which made the aircraft obsolete before it ever flew. However, the Army Air Corps insisted the aircraft be completed for test use.

The XB-19's first flight was 27 June 1941, more than 3 years after the construction contract was awarded. In 1943, the original radial engines were replaced by Allison V-3420 in-line engines and the aircraft was redesignated XB-19A. With the more powerful Allison engines, the aircraft's top speed increased to 265 mph. and the cruising speed went from 135 mph to 185 mph. The XB-19A, like the XB-19, was used as a test bed for very large aircraft design, construction and flight characteristics.

The Air Corps contracted for the construction of the Northrop XB-35 and Consolidated XB-36 in November 1941, just 5 months after the XB-19 flew for the first time. In fact, the design competition for these large bombers was completed more than 2 months before the XB-19 ever flew.

After completion of flight testing, the XB-19A was used as a cargo/transport until scrapped in 1949.

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The USAF museum website also contains a lot of more pictures.

Regards, RT



#2 Lightning

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Posted 17 March 2006 - 12:19 AM

Hi RT,

GREAT PHOTOGRAPHS!!! I have always thought that the B-19 looked like an over-sized Flying Fortress. It just seems that it should have flown in the 1930s. It was sort of a throwback by 1941 standards. I never realized that it was still flying as late as 1949.

Just as a matter of interest, the top photo shows what appears to be a razorback P-47 with a white cowling flying formation with the B-19. It's that cowling that makes it hard to identify--could it be a P-40? It's just too fuzzy to tell. (Also look at its tail.) Some of our sharp-eyed colleagues may be able to figure it out.

Regards,
Lightning

#3 Mark J

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Posted 17 March 2006 - 07:00 AM

Lightning, that plane has a spinner so I'll go for a P-40E or later.

cheers

#4 Alikchi

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Posted 17 March 2006 - 12:28 PM

A very interesting aircraft.. I'd hate to fly the thing into combat, though. It's a German Flak gunner's dream. [:0]

#5 GregP

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Posted 19 March 2006 - 07:32 AM

Hi RT!

As usual, you do a great job. I like the B-19, but I'm afraid it wasn't ever going to be much of a combat aircraft. As a design exercise, it was tops at the time, but we would have been better off sending the designers to Europe for a year to get a dose of combat reality.

#6 Lightning

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Posted 20 March 2006 - 10:05 PM

Hi Mark J,

Quoting you:

quote:Lightning, that plane has a spinner so I'll go for a P-40E or later.


I kind of thought that too, but that white cowling makes it hard (at least for me) to tell. The deep nose area could also be indicative of an early P-40B. At any rate, the presence of that fighter certainly adds to the interest generated by the photo.

Regards,
Lightning



#7 Ricky

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Posted 20 March 2006 - 10:17 PM

Well, looking at a picture of a P-40

Posted Image

and a P-47

Posted Image

from approximately the same angle...

The tail looks wrong for the P-47, but right for the P-40.
The only other distinguishing feature is an odd 'lump' under the fuselage which seems to be more of a P-47 feature!

At first I thought 'P-40' due to the tail, but then I noticed that the although the nose looks off - the top of the spinner seems to be below the top of the engine cowling...
It could be that the fuzzy nature of the picture is slightly distorting the tail shape, and the 'white' nose (or is it silver...) looks bigger than it is, giving the appearance of a spinner.

My mind is not made up, but I'm leaning towards P-47.

#8 Wuzak

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Posted 21 March 2006 - 04:01 AM

I'd say P-40 guys. It looks like a large spinner with an intake beneath. The tail certainly looks more like the P-40.

I think the hump may be due to the qualifty of the picture.

#9 simon

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Posted 21 March 2006 - 04:16 PM

If you go to the page RTF got the image from (http://www.military..../b19/b19_en.htm) and put your mouse pointer over the image it says "XB-19 and P-40". Could be that the original article mis-Id'd the type though...

Another website with the same image gives the following more detailed caption:

XB-19 with a Curtiss P-40 chase plane over what is now south-central Los Angeles in 1941. I am not sure if this is an actual color photo or a tinted black-and-white photo. Following the attack on Pearl Harbor, the XB-19 was camouflaged with olive drab over gray. Its guns were loaded with ammunition and the gunner's stations were manned during its subsequent test flights at March Field

http://www.air-and-s...uglas XB-19.htm

Seems most likely that it was a P-40, especially as the USAAF didn't recieve the first production P-47Bs until March the following year.

#10 Ricky

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Posted 21 March 2006 - 06:11 PM

Fair enough - I'm leaning the other way now...




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