The Douglas XFD was a carrier-based biplane fighter aircraft designed for the United States Navy, and the first fighter to be built by the Douglas Aircraft Company. A victim of changing requirements, no production was undertaken.
|National origin||United States|
|Manufacturer||Douglas Aircraft Company|
|First flight||January 1933|
|Primary user||United States Navy|
Design and developmentEdit
The XFD was designed to the U.S. Navy's Bureau of Aeronautics (BuAer) Specification No. 311, requesting a carrier-based two-seater biplane fighter. On June 30, 1932, the Navy ordered the XFD, Vought XF3U, and Curtiss XF12C for testing.
The first naval fighter designed by Douglas Aircraft, the XFD was constructed of metal, with a fabric outer covering. The crew sat in tandem in a single bay, enclosed by a long canopy. It had fixed landing gear with a tailwheel. It was designed to be armed with two .30 in (7.6 mm) machine guns, one fixed in the cowling and the other on a flexible mount for the observer, and a 500-pound (230 kg) cound be carried. Powered was supplied by a Pratt & Whitney R-1535 Twin Wasp Junior radial engine.
The XFD-1[N 1] prototype first flew in January 1933; it was delivered to the U.S. Navy for trials at Naval Air Station Anacostia in June 1933, within four days of the delivery of the Vought XF3U-1; evaluations of the types were undertaken between June 18, 1933 and August 14, 1934. While the XFD-1's performance was considered to be acceptable, the U.S. Navy's operational requirements were already changing to see the two-seat fighter concept falling out of favor, the scout bomber being considered more useful for the Navy's needs, and accordingly after the end of the XFD-1's flight trials no further orders were placed for the type.
- Crew: Two (pilot and observer)
- Length: 25 ft 4 in (7.72 m)
- Wingspan: 31 ft 6 in (9.60 m)
- Height: 25 ft 4 in (7.72 m)
- Wing area: 295 sq ft (27.4 m2)
- Empty weight: 3,227 lb (1,464 kg)
- Gross weight: 5,000 lb (2,268 kg)
- Powerplant: 1 × Pratt & Whitney R-1535-64 14-cylinder air-cooled radial engine, 700 hp (520 kW)
- Propellers: 2-bladed Hamilton Standard
- Maximum speed: 204 mph (328 km/h; 177 kn)
- Cruise speed: 170 mph (274 km/h; 148 kn)
- Combat range: 576 mi (501 nmi; 927 km)
- Service ceiling: 23,700 ft (7,200 m)
- Rate of climb: 1,670 ft/min (8.5 m/s)
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Aircraft of comparable role, configuration and era
- Yenne 1985, p. 64.
- Angelucci, 1987. pp. 182-183.
- Pattillo 2001, p. 111.
- Johnson 2011, p. 84.
- Angelucci, Enzo (1987). The American Fighter from 1917 to the present. New York: Orion Books.
- Johnson, E.R. (2011). United States Naval Aviation, 1919-1941. Jefferson, NC: McFarland & Company. ISBN 978-0-7864-4550-9.
- Pattillo, Donald (2001). Pushing the Envelope: The American Aircraft Industry. Ann Arbor, MI: University of Michigan Press. ISBN 0-472-10869-7.
- Yenne, Bill (1985). McDonnell Douglas: Tale of Two Giants. New York: Crescent Books. ISBN 978-0-5174-4287-6.