Friday, December 28, 2018


This is coolbert:

Continuing blog entries, extracts with commentary from the Internet web site "Great Power War". Topics in all cases aviation . . . oddities and curiosities for want of a better term and description.

"The Coolest Experimental Planes of World War II"

"Bell XFM Airacuda"


"Designated as a 'heavy fighter' and/or a 'bomber destroyer,' the American-made Bell XFM Airacuda was the Bell Aircraft company’s first airplane design. First flown in 1937, the plane had a number of innovative features — and many design flaws. In all, 13 were produced in three slightly different versions and one fully operational squadron was actually formed."

"The plane was created to intercept enemy bombers at distances greater than ordinary single-seat fighters."

Heavy fighter planes of the era before the Second World War additionally their mission as envisioned also to ESCORT the bomber warplane to the target and provide support. In this regard the heavy fighter across the board the concept a failure. As described by an acknowledged aviation authority:

"The twin engine, heavy fighters could not turn with the smaller, more nimble fighters, and the big planes' weight and load made speed a problem as well. Not only could a small fighter plane catch up to an enemy heavy fighter, it could out turn it in a dog fight. If it was losing, it could turn away and outrun its opponent."

A five-man crew for this warplane. Pilot and co-pilot. A radio operator [could fire weapons for rearward defense] and a gunner each for operating the two 37 mm cannon. Could also function as a light bomber.

And once more according to and from an acknowledged aviation authority:

"But none of the [WW2] twin engine bomber destroyers and long range fighter escorts worked out well: The German Me-110, the English Bristol Beaufighter , and others all failed at their designed jobs. However, many worked out as specialized, heavily armed night fighters carrying radar to find their targets in an environment where speed and maneuverability meant less"


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