XP-67 Bat

XP-67 Bat

infobox Aircraft
name =XP-67 "Bat"
type =Fighter
manufacturer =McDonnell Aircraft

caption =
designer =
first flight =6 January 1944
introduced =
retired =
status =Canceled 13 September 1944
primary user =U.S. Army Air Force
more users =
produced =
number built =1
unit cost =
variants with their own articles =

The McDonnell XP-67 was a prototype for a twin-engine, long range, single-place fighter aircraft for the U.S. Army Air Corps with a pressurized cockpit. Two Continental XI-1430-1 engines provided power, and were fitted with turbosuperchargers. The engines were of an inverted V-configuration, and drove four-bladed propellers, using the exhaust to augment thrust. The armament proposed was six 37 mm M4 cannon. Although the design represented an advanced concept, numerous problems handicapped the project and led to its cancellation.

Design and development

Based upon interest in an earlier McDonnell study for a long-range fighter, the USAAC issued an order for two prototype airplanes on 29 July 1941, designating them XP-67. The aircraft was unusual in that the design team sought to maintain true aerofoil sections throughout the entire fighter including the center fuselage and merging the rear portions of the engine nacelles with the wing. A number of armament configurations were considered including six .50-caliber machine guns, four 20 mm cannon, and even a 75 mm cannon before the configuration of six 37 mm cannon was chosen.


The first XP-67 was ready for ground trials on 1 December 1943 although it was not yet ready for flight. The aircraft was fitted at this time with XI-1430-17/19 engines and General Electric D-23 turbo-superchargers. On 8 December, however, the aircraft was damaged by fires in both engine nacelles, caused by a malfunction of the exhaust manifold slip rings. By 6 January 1944, the damage was repaired and the XP-67 made its first flight. The flight, however, ended after six minutes due to difficulties with the experimental engines. After a number of modifications were made to the engine installations two test flights were accomplished. On the fourth flight the engine bearings burned out when the engines were unintentionally overspeeded.

As a result of wind tunnel tests the tailplanes were raised 12 inches while the aircraft waited for replacement engines. On 23 March 1944 flight trials restarted and continued for several months. After five test flights by USAAF pilots found the aircraft cockpit layout fair and ground handling satisfactory, but that the aircraft appeared underpowered with long takeoffs, poor initial rate of climb and slow acceleration. Other flight characteristics were good, such as light stick forces, effective control at all speeds with flight stable longitudinally, but a tendency to "dutch roll" was prevalent.

Upon return to the factory the cooling ducts were also reworked. More flight tests then followed before AAF pilots finally got to fly the plane on 11 May 1944. During the following flights, several problems were cured, but engine related ones never were satisfactorily corrected. The biggest problem was engine overheating which led to a fire in the right nacelle on 6 September 1944. The ensuing fire caused major damage and on 13 September, McDonnell and the USAAF agreed to terminate the contract. The second airframe was never completed.

pecifications (XP-67)

aircraft specifications

plane or copter?=plane
jet or prop?=prop

crew=one, pilot
length main= 44 ft 9 in
length alt= 13.64 m
span main= 55 ft
span alt= 16.76 m
height main= 15 ft 9 in
height alt= 4.80 m
area main=414 ft²
area alt=38.50 m²
empty weight main=17,745 lb
empty weight alt= 8,050 kg
loaded weight main= 22,114 lb
loaded weight alt= 10,030 kg
max takeoff weight main= 25,400 lb
max takeoff weight alt= 11,520 kg
engine (prop)= Continental XI-1430-17/19
type of prop= twelve cylinder inverted vee liquid-cooled engine
number of props=2
power main= 1,350 hp
power alt= 1,000 kW

max speed main=405 mph at 25,000 ft
max speed alt= 650 km/h
range main=2,385 statute miles
range alt= 3,840 km
ceiling main=37,400 ft
ceiling alt= 11,400 m
climb rate main=2,600 ft/min
climb rate alt= 13 m/s
loading main= 53.4 lb/ft²
loading alt= 260 kg/m²
power/mass main= 0.06 hp/lb
power/mass alt= 0.09 kW/kg

*Six 37 mm M-4 cannon

ee also


similar aircraft=
* XP-58 Chain Lightning
* Curtiss XP-71
* Dornier Do 335
* Messerschmitt Me 410

* List of military aircraft of the United States

see also=




* Francillon, René J. "McDonnell Douglas Aircraft since 1920". London: Putnam & Company Ltd., 1979. ISBN 0-370-00050-1.
* Green, William. "War Planes of the Second World War, Volume Four: Fighters". London: MacDonald & Co. (Publishers) Ltd., 1961 (Sixth impression 1969). ISBN 0-356-01448-7.
* Green, William and Gordon Swanborough. "WW2 Aircraft Fact Files: US Army Air Force Fighters, Part 2". London: Macdonald and Jane's Publishers Ltd., 1978. ISBN 0-354-01072-7.

External links

* [http://1000aircraftphotos.com/Contributions/KleinBernhard/5427.htm Several pictures of the XP-67 "42-11677"]

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