A developed version of the original V-173 prototype, the XF5U-1 was a larger aircraft of all-metal construction, it was almost five times heavier, with two 1,400 hp (1,193 kW) Pratt & Whitney R-2000 radial engines.
A developed version of the original V-173 prototype, the XF5U-1 was a larger aircraft.
Of all-metal construction, it was almost five times heavier, with two 1,400 hp (1,193 kW) Pratt & Whitney R-2000 radial engines.
The configuration was designed to create a low aspect ratio aircraft with low take-off and landing speeds but high-top speed.
The aircraft was designed to keep the low stall speed and high angle of attack from the V-173 prototype while providing for better pilot visibility, cockpit comfort, less vibration, and provisions to install armament.
This included a cockpit redesign moving the cockpit from the leading edge of the wing to a nose nacelle that extended further in front of the leading edge.
The arrestor hook was changed to a dorsal hook that would diminish the drag from the apparatus.
Normally, a wing with such a low aspect ratio will suffer from very poor performance due to the degree of induced drag created at the wingtips, as the higher-pressure air below spills around the wingtip to the lower-pressure region above.
In a conventional aircraft, these wingtip vortices carry a lot of energy with them and hence create drag.
The usual approach to reducing these vortices is to build a wing with a high aspect ratio, i.e., one that is long and narrow.
However, such wings compromise the manoeuvrability and roll rate of the aircraft or present a structural challenge in building them stiff enough.
The XF5U attempted to overcome the tip vortex problem using the propellers to actively cancel the drag-causing tip vortices.
The propellers are arranged to rotate in the opposite direction to the tip vortices, with the aim of retaining the higher-pressure air below the wing.
With this source of drag eliminated, the aircraft would fly with a much smaller wing area, and the small wing would yield high manoeuvrability with greater structural strength.
The propellers envisioned for the completed fighter unlike the torque-reducing counter-rotating propellers of the V-173 design were to have a built-in cyclic movement like a helicopter’s main rotor, with a very limited ability to shift their centre of lift up and down to aid the aircraft in manoeuvring.
Initially, the aircraft used propellers originally designed for the V-173 prototype.
These propellers would be replaced with propellers taken from the Vought F4U-4 Corsair.
An ejection seat was fitted to allow the pilot to clear the massive propellers in the event of an in-flight emergency.
Although the prototype was unarmed, a combination of six M2 Browning 50-caliber machine guns or four M3 20 mm cannons would be mounted in the wing roots in service.
28 ft 7 in (8.73 m)
32 ft 6 in (9.91 m)
14 ft 9 in (4.50 m)
475 sq ft (44.2 m2)
13,107 lb (5,958 kg)
16,722 lb (7,600 kg)
Max take-off weight
18,772 lb (8,533 kg)
2 × Pratt & Whitney XR-2000-2 radial engine,
1,350 hp (1,007 kW) each
452 mph (727 km/h, 393 kn) at 28,000 ft (8,534 m) (estimated)