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XF8B-1 Fighter-Bomber

XF8B-1 fighter-bomberThe XF8B-1 fighter-bomber was the heaviest carrier-based airplane built before the end of World War II. It was the first fighter Boeing built after the P-26 "Peashooter" of 1936 and the last before the F/A-22 in 1990.

The XF8B-1 could be flown as a torpedo bomber and, because of its single-seat configuration, could also be used as a fighter. Because of its size and great horsepower, the XF8B-1 used an unusual dual six-blade contrarotating propeller. It carried bombs internally and extra fuel externally, and its six machine guns were mounted inside the folding wings.

Only three XF8-1s were built during 1944 and 1945. The aircraft never went into major production because changing wartime strategy required that Boeing concentrate on building land-based large bombers and transports.

First flight: Nov. 27, 1944
Model number: 400
Classification: Fighter-bomber
Span: 54 feet
Length: 43 feet 3 inches
Gross weight: 20,508 pounds
Top speed: 432 mph
Cruising speed: 190 mph
Range: 3,500 miles
Ceiling: 37,500 feet
Power: One 2,500-horsepower P&W Wasp Major engine
Accommodation: 1 crew
Armament: Six .50-caliber machine guns or 20 mm cannons, 3,200-pound bomb load