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Aircraft Quiz #67       
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  Aircraft Quiz #67 
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Doug Robertson

Joined: 01 Nov 2005
Posts: 1659
Location: Southern California

PostPosted: Sat Jan 23, 2016 4:40 pm    Post subject: Aircraft Quiz #67 Reply with quote

What was the very first flying aircraft to have a dummy propeller always fitted when it was on the ground to conceal its true nature, removed before takeoff?

This aircraft had several other firsts.

I am not thinking of the British sham aircraft decoys on their fields during WWII designed to lure the enemy into wasting ammunition and bombs. These wood, cardboard, etc decoys never flew. Hardly airworthy!

1. Manufacturer?

2. Official designator of first aircraft and name meeting the Quiz question?

3.a. Number built of each version?, 3b... and their several different nomenclatures?

4. What was added to the first aircraft after its first flight?

Link to my photos-

  Quiz #67 
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Joined: 11 Sep 2008
Posts: 1063

PostPosted: Sun Jan 24, 2016 5:14 pm    Post subject: Quiz #67 Reply with quote

1. Bell Aircraft Corporation

2. XP-59A (P-5pA Airacomet)

3a. XP-59 - Initial Prototype Designation; None produced; based on the smaller XP-52
pusher-prop design.

XP-59A - Designation of early batch of AAF early development platforms,
3 productions made

YP-59 - Pre-production model designation

YP-59A - Fitted with more powerful engines, service testing platform, 13
examples produced

P-59A - Initial production model designation, 20 examples produced for AAF

P-59B - Improved P-59A models, 30 examples produced with a further 50
on order eventually cancelled

YF2L-1 - US Navy designation YP-59A evaluations version

4. A handful of the first Airacomets had open-air flight observer stations (similar to those of biplanes) later cut into the nose;

It had straight wings mounted about mid-height on the fuselage. A high T-tail ensured that the tail would not interfere with the airflow from the engines

While being handled on the ground, the aircraft was fitted with a dummy propeller to disguise its true nature.[

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Author Message
Doug Robertson

Joined: 01 Nov 2005
Posts: 1659
Location: Southern California

PostPosted: Sun Jan 24, 2016 5:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well Walt, you have aced it again! I congratulate you and the most welcome photo!

My info on question #4 was that after the first flight-Bell felt an observer position to the single cockpit aircraft was required for noting instrument readings during test flights, hence a rudimentary second cockpit was added in the gun bay ahead of and below the pilot. Good enough!

The original BELL XP-59A AIRACOMET clocked 59 hours, 55 minutes flight time and since 1975 is displayed at the Smithsonian National Air & Space Museum in Washington, DC.

The BELL XP-59A AIRACOMET was America's first jet aircraft and America's Robert Stanley test pilot became our first jet pilot on 1 October 1942.

Power was two General Electric 1-A turbojet engines of 1,250 lb st each; basically copies of the British Whittle W.2b turbojet. The low power yielding 390 mph max speed wouldn't exceed the Republic P-47D Thunderbolt-433 mph or the North American P-51D Mustang-437 mph speeds in flight. No version ever saw any operational service.

Link to my photos-

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