Wedell-Williams XP-34

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XP-34
Wedell-Williams XP-34 artists concept.jpg
Artist's impression of the XP-34
Role Fighter aircraft
National origin United States
Manufacturer Wedell-Williams Air Service Corporation
Developed from Wedell-Williams Model 45

The Wedell-Williams XP-34 was a fighter aircraft design submitted to the United States Army Air Corps (USAAC) before World War II by Marguerite Clark Williams, widow of millionaire Harry P. Williams, former owner and co-founder of the Wedell-Williams Air Service Corporation.

Design and development[edit]

Derived from an original proposal made in 1932, the XP-34 was based on a design by air racer Jimmy Wedell, who was considered, "one of the most noted race plane designers of its day".[1] The aircraft was a direct result of the development of Wedell's most successful designs, the Model 44 and Model 45. [2]The forward fuselage was intended to be metal, the after part and control surfaces covered in fabric.[1]

The interest expressed from the USAAC was based on the success of the private racing aircraft in the 1930s that were reaching 300 mph speeds in competition, a performance level not achieved by standard aircraft types in service in the U.S. military.[2]

On 1 October 1935, the USAAC ordered a full set of drawings and issued the XP-34 designation. It soon became apparent, however, with its original 700 hp (522 kW) Pratt & Whitney R1535 Twin Wasp engine, the anticipated performance of the XP-34 would be insufficient compared to designs already in production.

Wedell-Williams suggested substituting the 900 hp (671 kW) XR-1830 instead. Although the promise of high speed was still there, other considerations such as the complete redesign of the airframe to accommodate a heavier and more powerful engine were considered impractical with the new design subsequently rejected by the Air Corps before any aircraft were built. [2]

Specifications (proposed)[edit]

Data from U.S. Fighters

General characteristics

  • Crew: 1 pilot
  • Length: 23 ft 6 in (7.2 m)
  • Wingspan: 27 ft 8½ in (8.45 m)
  • Height: 10 ft 9 in (3.28 m)
  • Gross weight: 4,250 lb (1,928 kg)
  • Powerplant: 1 × Pratt & Whitney XR1830-C aircooled radial, 900 hp (671 kW)

Performance

  • Maximum speed: 308 mph (496 km/h)

See also[edit]

Related development
Related lists

References[edit]

Notes
  1. ^ a b Jones 1975, p. 80.
  2. ^ a b c Dorr and Donald 1990, p. 61.
Bibliography
  • Dorr, Robert F. and Donald, David. Fighters of the United States Air Force. London: Temple, 1990. ISBN 0-600-55094-X.
  • Jones, Lloyd S. U.S. Fighters, Army-Air Force: 1925 to 1980s. Los Angeles: Aero Publishers Incorporated, 1975. ISBN 0-8168-9200-8.