Lockheed XP-49

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Lockheed XP-49 061023-F-1234P-002.jpg
Role Fighter
National origin United States
Manufacturer Lockheed Corporation
Designer Clarence Johnson
First flight 14 November 1942
Status Cancelled
Number built 1
Developed from Lockheed P-38 Lightning

The Lockheed XP-49 (company Model 522) was an advancement on the P-38 Lightning for a fighter in response to U.S. Army Air Corps proposal 39-775. Intended to use the new 24-cylinder Pratt & Whitney X-1800 engine, this proposal, which was for an aircraft substantially similar to the P-38, was assigned the designation XP-49, while the competing Grumman Model G-46 was awarded second place and designated XP-50.


Ordered in October 1939 and approved on January 8, 1940, the XP-49 was to feature a pressurized cockpit and armament of two 20 mm (0.79 in) cannon and four .50 in (12.7 mm) machine guns. Two months into the contract, a decision was made to substitute the Continental XI-1430-1 (or IV-1430) for the X-1800. The XP-49, 40-3055, first flew on 11 November 1942. The prototype force-landed on 1 January 1943, when the port landing gear failed to lock down due to combined hydraulic and electrical system failures.[1] The XP-49 next flew 16 February 1943, after repairs were made. Preliminary flight data showed performance was not sufficiently better than the production P-38, especially given the questionable future of the XI-1430 engine, to warrant disruption of the production line to introduce the new model aircraft.[citation needed] Consideration of quantity production was therefore abandoned.

The aircraft was flown to Wright Field, and after various problems, further work on the XP-49 was halted, and Lockheed focused their energies on improving the P-38 instead.

Specifications (XP-49)[edit]

General characteristics

  • Crew: One
  • Length: 40 ft 1 in (12.2 m)
  • Wingspan: 52 ft 0 in (15.8 m)
  • Height: 9 ft 10 in (3.0 m)
  • Wing area: 327.5 sq ft (30 m2)
  • Empty weight: 15,410 lb (6,990 kg)
  • Gross weight: 18,750 lb (8,505 kg)
  • Powerplant: 2 × Continental XI-1430-1 inverted V-12s, 1,600 hp (1,193 kW) each


  • Maximum speed: 406 mph (653 km/h, 353 kn) 15,000 ft (4,570 m)
  • Range: 679 mi (1,093 km, 590 nmi)
  • Rate of climb: 3,300 ft/min (16.8 m/s)


  • 2 × 20 mm (.79 in) cannons
  • 4 × 0.5 in (12.7 mm) machine guns

See also[edit]

Related development

Aircraft of comparable role, configuration, and era

Related lists



  1. ^ "January 1943 USAAF Stateside Accident Reports".


  • 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 Swanborough, Gordon. 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[edit]

Media related to Lockheed XP-49 at Wikimedia Commons