Boeing Model 96 / XP-9

1st Flight 1930

The Boeing Model 96, XP-9 was the first monoplane fighter aircraft produced by the United States aircraft manufacturing company Boeing.

It incorporated sophisticated structural refinements that were influential in later Boeing designs.

The sole prototype exhibited unsatisfactory characteristics with its lack of pilot visibility directly leading to its cancellation.

The prototype XP-9, marked A 028-386, was first flown on 18 November 1930.

It had impressive stats on the specification sheet, but it quickly became apparent that its large wing, which was placed atop the fuselage directly in front of the pilot, obstructed downward visibility so badly that simple landing maneuvers were hazardous.

Test pilots at the Army Test Centre at Wright Field found that the XP-9’s inherent instability was so severe that immediate modifications were requested to increase the size of the vertical tail.

An enlarged vertical tail surface with smooth metal skinning was introduced, but failed to effect any significant improvement, and this revised XP-9 was grounded for instructional airframe use in August 1931, after only 15 hours of test flying, due to the impossibility of its being landed safely.

Specifications

Crew

1

Length

25 ft 1.75 in (7.66 m)

Wingspan

36 ft 6 in (11.13 m)

Height

7 ft 10.25 in (3.0 m)

Wing area

210 sq ft (19.51 m2)

Empty weight

2,669 lb (1,211 kg)

Max take-off weight

3,623 lb (1,643 kg)

Powerplant

1 Curtiss SV-1570-15 Conqueror, 600 hp (448 kW)

Performance

Maximum speed

185 kn (213 mph, 343 km/h)

Cruise speed

156 kn (180 mph, 290 km/h)

Range

369 nmi (425 mi, 684 km)

Service ceiling

26,800 ft (8,170 m)

Rate of climb

1,560 ft/min (7.9 m/s)

Armament

Guns

2 x machine guns, one .30 (7.62mm) and one .50 (12.7mm)

Bombs

125 lb bombs.

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