Bell XP-83

The Bell XP-83 which was later redesignated ZXF-83, was a United States prototype escort fighter of Ww2.  

As an early jet fighter, its limitations included a lack of power and it was soon eclipsed by more advanced designs.

The early jet fighters consumed fuel at a prodigious rate which severely limited their range and endurance.

In March 1944, the United States Army Air Forces requested Bell to design a fighter with increased endurance and formally awarded a contract for two prototypes on 31 July 1944.

Bell had been working on its “Model 40” interceptor design since 1943.

It was redesigned as a long-range escort fighter while retaining the general layout of the P-59 Airacomet.

The two General Electric J33-GE-5 turbojet engines were located in each wing root which left the large and bulky fuselage free for fuel tanks and armament.

The fuselage was an all-metal semi-monocoque capable of carrying 1,150 gal (4,350 l) of fuel.

In addition, two 250 gal (950 l) drop tanks could be carried.

The cabin was pressurized and used a small and low bubble style canopy.

The armament was to be six 0.5 in (12.7 mm) machine guns in the nose.




44 ft 10 in (13.67 m)


53 ft 0 in (16.15 m)


15 ft 3 in (4.65 m)

Wing area

431 sq ft (40.0 m2)

Empty weight

14,105 lb (6,398 kg)

Gross weight

24,090 lb (10,927 kg)

Max take-off weight

27,500 lb (12,474 kg)

Fuel capacity

1,154 US gal (961 imp gal; 4,370 l)


2x 300 US gal (250 imp gal; 1,100 l) drop tanks


2 × General Electric XJ33-GE-5 centrifugal flow compressor turbojet engines,

4,000 lbf (18 kN) thrust each for take-off at 11500 rpm


Maximum speed

522 mph (840 km/h, 454 kn) at 15,660 ft (4,773.2 m)


1,730 mi (2,780 km, 1,500 nmi) on internals

Ferry range

2,050 mi (3,300 km, 1,780 nmi) with drop tanks

Service ceiling

45,000 ft (14,000 m)

Rate of climb

5,650 ft/min (28.7 m/s)

Time to altitude

30,000 ft (9,144 m) in 11 minutes 30 seconds

Wing loading

56 lb/sq ft (270 kg/m2)





6 × .50 in (12.7 mm) M2 machine guns


6 × .60 in (15.2 mm) T17E3 machine guns (prototypes)


4 × 20 mm (0.79 in) Hispano cannons


1 × 37 mm (1.46 in) cannon in the nose


2 × 1,000 lb (454 kg) bombs.





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