Vought XF5U

Specifications

1st Flight- Ground tested only.

Crew: 1 pilot

Length: 28 ft 7 in (8.73 m)

Wingspan: 32 ft 6 in (9.91 m)

Height: 14 ft 9 in (4.50 m)

Wing area: 475 sq ft (44.2 m2)

Empty weight: 13,107 lb (5,958 kg)

Gross weight: 16,722 lb (7,600 kg)

Max takeoff weight: 18,772 lb (8,533 kg)

Powerplant: 2 × Pratt & Whitney XR-2000-2 radial engine, 1,350 hp (1,007 kW) each

Performance

Maximum speed: 452 mph (727 km/h, 393 kn) at 28,000 ft (8,534 m)(estimated)

Range: 710 mi (1,142 km, 620 nmi)

Service ceiling: 34,500 ft (10,516 m)

Rate of climb: 3,120 ft/min (15.8 m/s) or 914 m/min

Wing loading: 39.2 lb/sq ft (191 kg/m2)

Armament

6 × .50 machine guns

2 × 1000 lb. bombs

Variants

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 XF5U design was promising: specifications given at the time promised great manoeuvrability and speeds up to 452mph (727km/h).

However, it came at the time when the United States Navy was switching from propeller driven to jet propelled aircraft.

By 1946, the XF5U-1 project was already long over its expected development time, and well over budget.

With jet aircraft coming into service, the Navy finally cancelled the project on 17 March 1947, and the prototype aircraft (V-173) was transferred to the Smithsonian Museum for display.

Although two aircraft were constructed, a lone XF5U-1 underwent ground runs but never overcame vibration problems.

Taxi trials at Vought’s Connecticut factory culminated in short “hops” that were not true flights. 

The only completed XF5U-1 proved to be so structurally solid that it had to be destroyed with a wrecking ball.

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