Airborne Awesomosity

Shaken and Stirred The Douglas XB-42 Mixmaster

 

Douglas XB-42 Mixmaster

[image wikipedia.org]

 

Using lessons learned during the war you find that there were many aircraft that advanced the art but failed to see production. This time we will look at variants of the same airframe with piston power, piston with additional jets, and pure jet power.

 

 

Douglas XB-42 Mixmaster

[image wikipedia.org]

 

 

Douglas offered the US Air Force an attack aircraft with nearly the range of a B-29 without the cost and complexity of one.  Add in high speed and strong armament and the US Air Force would have gained an aircraft similar in performance to the British Mosquito.   A further advantage was the  commonality of the familiar Allison’s and it would look like a slam dunk for war time production.

 

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ItCaHtYQZTI[/youtube]

 

 

The issue was that the war was over and not only was money limited but the technology had moved on. Where the engines and simple construction were pluses during the war years they would be liabilities during peace time. The basic prototype showed promise by going  from California to Washington, DC in 5 hours at an average speed of 433mph breaking that record and once again showing how sound this design was.

Several of my posts have featured the coupled version of the Allison powering aircraft of this power. The Mixmaster still used  two Allison 12 cylinder V-1710’s but had each one assigned to one of the contrarotating props.  This would lower the complexity inherit in the V-3420 coupled engine.

[from the National Air Force Museum]

TECHNICAL NOTES:
Armament: Six .50-cal. machine guns and 8,000 lbs. of bombs
Engine: Two Allison V-1710-125 V-12 engines of 1,800 hp each
Maximum speed: 410 mph. at 23,500 ft.
Cruising speed: Approx. 310 mph
Range: 1,840 miles; 5400 miles maximum ferry range
Service ceiling: 29,400 ft.
Span: 70 ft. 6 in.
Length: 53 ft. 7 in.
Height: 20 ft. 9 in.
Weight: 35,702 lbs. (maximum gross weight)
Crew: Three (pilot, copilot/gunner, bombardier)
Serial numbers: 43-50224 and 43-50225

 

Later Prototype With Two Pod Mounted Jet Engines Adding 50mph To The Top Speed

[image wikipedia.org]

 

The last gasp for the Douglas Mixmaster design was a move to all jet propulsion known as the XB-43 Jetmaster.  Like most piston engine aircraft converted to all jet designs it wouldn’t have the advantages of a pure jet design. Add in that technology was moving so fast that a design was out of date the moment it left the drawing board and you can see the end of the tunnel for wartime designs.

[from the National Air Force Museum]

TECHNICAL NOTES:
Armament: Designed for 8,000 lbs. of bombs although none were ever carried; also designed for two .50-cal. machine guns in the tail, but the guns were never installed
Engine: Two General Electric J35-GE-3 (TG-180) axial flow turbojets of 4,000 lbs. thrust each
Maximum speed: 503 mph
Cruising speed: 410 mph
Range: Approx. 2,500 miles
Service ceiling: 38,500 ft.
Span: 71 ft. 2 in.
Length: 51 ft. 5 in.
Height: 24 ft. 3 in.
Weight: 40,000 lbs. (maximum gross weight)
Crew: Three
Serial number: 44-61508

 

 

XB-43 Douglas Jetmaster

[image wikipedia.org]

 

 

In the book of unknown aircraft the XB-42/XB-43 twins may go down as one of the best designs to never see production.  It showed what the pinnacle of mid forties design could be. Had the war gone on for even another six months it would have made quite an impact in the Pacific.

 

  • CaptianNemo2001

    Just think of how cool this thing would be with contrarotating turboprops with paddle props for high altitude work.

    • fodder650

      I'm trying to wrap my mind around.

      Something you might appreciate. In the Wiki article it talks about how they saved the XB-42 for the air force museum but lost the wings. How do you lose the wings?

      • CaptianNemo2001

        They fly away.

      • Vairship

        That damn Always stole them! I tell you, can't trust those women.

  • skitter

    I've never noticed before because of the profile shot, but I think this has the best use of bubble canopies I've ever seen. All of my future doodles will look like this.

    • fodder650

      The double bubble wasn't on it for long. They found that it hurt the communication between the pilot and copilot and removed it.

      • skitter

        We can fix this.
        We have the technology.

        • fodder650

          Sure by adding a single larger piece of cockpit glass. Thankfully that didn't cost six million dollars.

          • CaptianNemo2001

            or headphones would be a cheaper option.

          • fodder650

            Headphone technology was young at this point. It didn't have the range needed.

            Yes I know this is a lie. Just parroting what I read about the communication problem.

          • CaptianNemo2001

            Well I am just saying it worked very well for the German panzers so it should work well for the pilots.

          • Vairship

            Two tin cans and a piece of string costs less than six million dollars.

          • fodder650

            It also can't be jammed without tin snips.

  • I prefer their TR-808 RapMaster.

    • fodder650

      Want me to get you a Casio keytar?

    • texlenin

      Or the XYY-45 MoogMaster?

  • Number_Six

    And there's our answer to, "What is the coolest tailplane in the aviation world?"

    • CaptianNemo2001

      Not even close.

  • CaptianNemo2001
    • fodder650

      Wait that image says its from the Smithsonian. Maybe the Gerber facility back in 99. I wonder what she looks like now. PLus that nose makes me think this is the XB-43.

      • sporttruck

        Its the XB-42. Just above the wing root you can see the exhaust for the allisons.

  • sporttruck

    The museum still has one set of wings. They will be used as patterns to build a second set and equip the other aircraft. One note of interest is that due vibrations the acrylic nose on the 43 cracked and a replacement one was fabricated in the field out of plywood. They never replaced the wood its still on the aircraft.

    • fodder650

      Dayton has it right?

      • sporttruck

        Correct. We have it in very long term storage in the restoration hanger.

        • fodder650

          Do you work for the Air Force Museum?

          • sporttruck

            Yes, I'm a restoration specialist.

          • fodder650

            Good to meet you. If you don't mind I have a couple questions about projects there. First do they have V-3420?

          • sporttruck

            Sorry. I didn't press reply first.

  • sporttruck

    Yes, we have two. One installed in the P-75 and one on display.

    • fodder650

      I did a writeup about the Eagle awhile ago. What projects are you working on?

      • sporttruck

        Right now I'm working on a rudder for a A-25 and repainting a C-82.

    • sporttruck

      Misread your post. It is two separate engines.

  • sporttruck

    Yes it is. The rudder we are using for a pattern is from a Navy Helldiver. http://s1200.beta.photobucket.com/user/jgallogly/

    We are repainting the arctic markings that are all ready on the aircraft. Its faded over time from being on display outdoors.

  • Recurveman

    So i spend a lot of time on google earth for various reason and one of my favorite places to visit is listed below. Check out this fine piece of aviation history, just out of reach. Also there are a few more off to the left of this as well that are just as interesting. If anyone else is interested, I have also found four experimental sonic aircraft that are laying around as well.

    Googlemap this: 32.161468,-110.835886

    • fodder650

      Well there goes my lunch. Thanks. Now I have a lot of aircraft to identify.

      Here is the direct link to that map http://goo.gl/maps/z57oN

      • Recurveman

        Ha! Well there is all but one so far that I have not been able to nail down. Also here are the cool hypersonic aircraft for everyones enjoyment and awe.

        32.153583,-110.841474

        This place would be like Disney land for me, and i would have to guess quite a few others on here as well.. actually its better then disney land because there wouldn't be over priced… everything.. everywhere.

        • fodder650

          They look like the old D-21 drone but they shouldn't be around anymore.
          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/D-21_drone

          • CaptianNemo2001

            Shouldn't it be in a museum?

          • fodder650

            I need to go look it up but I believe they might be actually mothballed and not be ready to be scrapped. If they were to be scrapped I'd imagine they would get high priority to get that engine and the titanium shell.

            By the way if you look around the satellite image I noticed something very intersesting. There are a lot of Cessna Tweets waiting to be scrapped. They were taken out of service in 2009. Its taking awhile to do this apparently. That and I found a few aircraft I can't name. I'm thinking of doing a "Mystery aircraft" post on oddities I'm finding there.

          • CaptianNemo2001

            I got 2 shots out of the October 1942 Power Plant Manual of a mystery aircraft that show next to nothing of the plane but could make for a challenging subject. I think there is enough info for:

            The make and model of the plane.
            Engine make and model.
            And maybe the just enough livery to identify the airline/company.

          • fodder650

            If you want email that to me at fodder at gmail.com and I will see about posting that.

          • CaptianNemo2001

            Ok I'll go scan it in and send it. First photo scanned in correctly second one failed and now it refused to scan in photos. I'll fix it somehow.

  • Recurveman

    You sir have just made my day and have ended hours of speculation. This is a fairly high res picture of the exact aircraft that i was able to find on google. Pasting the link so its glory is not lost.
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/rob-the-org/63003736

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