Boeing Model 58/XP-4

1st Flight 1927

The Boeing XP-4 was a prototype United States biplane fighter of the 1920s that was grounded permanently after just 4.5 hours of flight testing.

In 1926, the United States Army was very interested in the turbo-supercharger as a way of improving engine performance, and requested that one be added to the last of the PW-9s, and the engine upgraded to a 510 hp Packard 1A-1500.

This machine was designated XP-4.

In addition, the basic PW-9 armament of one .50 and one .30 cal. machine guns in the nose was supplemented by two added .30 cal. guns mounted under the lower wing, far enough out to be outside the propeller arc (thus not needing synchronization).

All these modifications added weight, so the lower wing span was extended by 9.5 feet.

The airplane was delivered to Wright Field for testing on 27 July 1927, but it quickly became apparent that the Packard engine did not have sufficient power to compensate for the 800 lbs of extra weight, the craft performing more poorly than its predecessor, and the project was quickly abandoned.

Specifications

Crew

One

Length

23 ft 11 in (7.29 m)

Wingspan

32 ft 1 in (9.78 m)

Height

8 ft 10 in (2.69 m)

Wing area

245 sq ft (22.8 m2)

Empty weight

2,783 lb (1,264 kg)

Max take-off weight

3,650 lb (1,655 kg)

Powerplant

1 × Packard 1A-1500 supercharged liquid-cooled piston engine, 510 hp (380 kW)

Performance

Maximum speed

146 kn (168 mph, 270 km/h)

Cruise speed

104 kn (120 mph, 193 km/h)

Range

326 nmi (375 mi, 604 km)

Service ceiling

22,850 ft (6,965 m)

Rate of climb

1,400 ft/min (7.1 m/s)

Armament

Guns

One 0.3 in and one 0.5 in machine guns firing through propeller disc plus two wing mounted 0.3 in machine guns.

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