The Northrop XP-56 was designed as a competitor for a 1939 USAAC specification for a single-seat interceptor fighter, competing against the Curtiss-Wright XP-55, and the Vultee XP-54. Only two prototypes were made, and testing showed it to not only underperform, but be basically un-airworthy. The project was cancelled, but lessons learned from the XP-56 came in handy with later Northrop flying wing designs.
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(updated February 2009)
Northrop XP-56 "Black Bullet"
Type: single-seat fighter Crew: 1 Armament: four .50 cal machine guns in the nose two 20mm cannon in the nose Specifications: Length: 27' 6" Height: 11' 0" Wingspan: 42' 6" Wing area: 306 sq. ft Empty Weight: 8700 lb Max Weight: 12,145 lb max at takeoff Propulsion: No. of Engines: 1 Powerplant: Pratt & Whitney R-2800-29 18-cylinder Horsepower: 2000 hp Performance (manufacturer's estimates): Range: 445 miles Cruise Speed: N/A Max Speed: 465 mph at 25,000 ft Ceiling: 33,000 ft
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