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Posted 7/7/2009 Printable Fact Sheet

The Convair XB-53 was originally designed as an attack aircraft with the designation XA-44. The aircraft was to have a 30° forward swept wing with an 8-degree dihedral. Convair engineers used forward swept wing research data captured from Germany in World War II as the basis for the design. The wing was mounted at the far aft portion of the fuselage and also served as the horizontal stabilizer. The design had a conventional vertical stabilizer and rudder, but changes in pitch and roll were accomplished with wing mounted control surfaces. The elevators were on the inboard wing while the ailerons were outboard. The wingtips were also designed as variable incidence control surfaces.

The design called for three General Electric J35 turbojets of 4,000 pounds thrust each mounted within the fuselage. Estimates indicated as top speed of approximately 580 mph. Classified as a medium bomber, the XB-53 would have carried up to 12,000 pounds of bombs. It was also designed for 40 High Velocity Aerial Rockets (HVAR) mounted on underwing pylons.

Convair diverted funding initially allotted to the XB-46 program to work on the XA-44/XB-53 project. Two aircraft were ordered (S/N 45-59583/4) but neither were completed before the XB-53 program was canceled.

Type Number built/
XB-53 0 Forward swept wing design

TECHNICAL NOTES (as designed):
Armament: 12,000 lbs. of bombs and 40 5-in. High Velocity Aerial Rockets (HVAR); XA-44 designed for 20 .50-cal. machine guns
Engines: Three General Electric J35 turbojets of 4,000 lbs. thrust each
Maximum speed: 580 mph
Range: 2,000 miles maximum
Service ceiling: 44,000 ft.
Span: 80 ft. 7 in.
Length: 79 ft. 6 in.
Height: 23 ft. 8 in.
Weight: 60,000 lbs. (estimated maximum takeoff weight)
Crew: Four
Serial numbers: 45-59583 and 45-59584 (ordered but not completed) 

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