Stearman XA-21

1st Flight 1938

The Stearman XA-21 (Model X-100) was a competitor in a United States Army Air Corps competition for a twin engined attack aircraft.

The X-100, designated XA-21 following purchase by the Army Air Corps, was a twin engined high-winged monoplane of all-metal construction.

Its initial design featured an unusual step less cockpit arrangement, much like those on most German World War II bombers designed during the war years from the He 111P onwards, with a streamlined, well-framed greenhouse canopy enclosing both the pilot and bombardier stations.

The XA-21 was first tested with the streamlined cockpit but this configuration was found to restrict the pilot’s forward vision, and the aircraft was rebuilt with a conventional stepped nose and cockpit structure.

Although this change in the cockpit did not significantly affect performance, the XA-21 was not ordered into production.

Specifications

Crew

3

Capacity

5,560 lb (2,520 kg)

Length

53 ft 1 in (16.18 m)

Wingspan

65 ft 0 in (19.81 m)

Height

14 ft 2 in (4.32 m)

Wing area

607 sq ft (56.39 m2)

Empty weight

12,760 lb (5,789 kg)

Gross weight

18,230 lb (8,269 kg)

Powerplant

2 × Pratt & Whitney R-2180-7 Twin Hornet radial engines, 1,400 hp (1,030 kW) each

Performance

Maximum speed

223 kn (257 mph, 414 km/h)

Cruise speed

174 kn (200 mph, 322 km/h)

Wing loading

30.0 lb/sq ft (147 kg/m2)

Power/mass

0.15 hp/b (250 W/kg)

Armament

Guns

4 × wing-mounted 0.30 in (7.62 mm) M1919 Browning machine guns

1 × nose-mounted 0.30 in machine gun

4 × aft-firing 0.30 in machine guns

Bombs

2,700 lb (1,200 kg)

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