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Grumman XF5F-1 / XP-50 Skyrocket

Grumman XF5F Skyrocket

The Grumman XF5F Skyrocket was a prototype twin-engine shipboard fighter interceptor.

The United States Navy ordered one prototype, model number G-34, from Grumman Aircraft Engineering Corporation on 30 June 1938; its designation was XF5F-1.

The aircraft had a unique appearance:

The forward “nose” of the fuselage did not extend forward of the wing.

Provisions were included for two 20 mm (0.906 in) Madsen cannon as armament.

In 1938 Grumman presented a proposal to the U. S. Navy for a twin engine carrier-based aircraft, unlike any other fighter aircraft that had ever been considered.

The design was for a lightweight fighter (under 10,000 lbs maximum take-off weight) powered by two 1,200 hp Wright R-1820 engines, with propellers geared to rotate in opposite directions to cancel out the effects of each engine’s torque, promising high-speed, and an outstanding rate of climb.

The XF5F Skyrocket was a low-wing monoplane with a short fuselage that began aft of the wing’s leading edge with a twin tail assembly that featured a pronounced dihedral to the horizontal stabilizer.

The main landing gear and tail wheel were fully retractable.

Grumman XP-50

The Grumman XP-50 was a land-based development of the shipboard XF5F-1 Skyrocket fighter, entered into a United States Army Air Corps contest for a twin-engine heavy interceptor aircraft.

The USAAC placed an order for a prototype on 25 November 1939, designating it XP-50, but it lost the competition to the Lockheed XP-49.

First assigned Design 34, later G-41 by the builder, Grumman, the design was entered into competition alongside proposals from Bell, Brewster, Curtiss, Lockheed, and Vought.

The XP-50 design was similar to that of the XF5F-1 with modifications to the fuselage nose to house the nose-wheel of the tricycle landing gear and provisions for self-sealing fuel tanks and pilot armour.

The planned armament was two 20 mm (.79 in) cannon and two .50 in (12.7 mm) machine guns.


(XF5F Skyrocket)




28 ft 9 in (8.76 m)


42 ft 0 in (12.80 m)


11 ft 4 in (3.45 m)

Wing area

303.5 sq ft (28.2 m2)

Empty weight

8,107 lb (3,600 kg)

Gross weight

10,138 lb (4,600 kg)

Max take-off weight

10,900 lb (4,955 kg)


2 × Wright XR-1820-40/42 Cyclone,

Nine cylinder radial air-cooled engine,

1,200 hp (895 kW) each


Maximum speed

383 mph (616 km/h, 333 kn) at sea level


1,200 mi (1,800 km, 1,000 nmi)

Service ceiling

33,000 ft (11,000 m)

Rate of climb

4,000 ft/min (20 m/s)

Wing loading

33.4 lb/sq ft (163 kg/m2)


4 × 0.5 in (12.7 mm) machine guns

2 × 165 lb (75 kg) bombs.




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