Brewster XA-32 Airplane Videos and Airplane Pictures

Brewster XA-32 Video - Picture

Airplane Picture - Brewster XA-32 during testing c. 1943 (U.S. Air Force photo)

Brewster XA-32 Aircraft Information

Brewster XA-32

Airplane Picture - Brewster XA-32 during testing c. 1943 (U.S. Air Force photo)

Picture - Brewster XA-32 during testing c. 1943 (U.S. Air Force photo)

Role: Single seat attack aircraft
National origin: United States
Manufacturer: Brewster Aeronautical Corporation
First flight: 22 May 1943
Retired: 1944
Status: Experimental
Primary user: United States Army Air Corps (intended)
Number built: 2

The Brewster XA-32 was an American attack aircraft, a mid-wing type with an internal bomb bay. The prototype had the R-2800 engine, but it could take the intended R-4360 powerplant. After a dismal set of test results, the XA-32 did not enter production.

Design and development

Brewster Aeronautical Corporation had startled the world when its rotund Buffalo beat out Grumman's entry in the first Navy monoplane fighter competition. After that, it scarcely did anything right; and the XA-32, despite a sound layout, became a compendium of management-induced faults. The problems in experimental aircraft were sometimes the result of problems inherent in the manufacturing company, and the real problems inherent in the program was that the XA-32 suffered from the terminally bad Brewster management system. Missing production deadline dates and constant changes to the design jeopardized a promising design (at least on paper).

Initially designed in 1941, the XA-32 that was rolled out in 1943 was grossly overweight at almost 20,000 pounds, with the single-seat aircraft topping the scales at about the same weight as the A-20. The drag induced by its bulbous shape was amplified by careless detail design, which left it festooned with bumps and lumps. One disastrous characteristic was that the exhaust scoops that ringed the cowling nearly blinded the test pilots during night flights; the backfiring at low power settings resulted in flames engulfing the nose of the aircraft. Even with the 2,100 hp Pratt & Whitney R-2800, the XA-32 was underpowered and an attempt to re-engine the aircraft with the 3,000 hp Pratt & Whitney R-4360 "Wasp Major" was unsuccessful.

Testing

The first flight of the XA-32 prototype was not until 22 May 1943, two years after the design was proposed; and almost every aspect of performance fell short of the specifications. Devoid of weapons load, the XA-32 could only reach 279 mph and handled well but as soon as armament and external stores were added, the performance dropped drastically and more seriously, the disturbed airflow "set up a severe buffeting at its top speed ." The firm was in such management shambles that it drew the wrath of Congress and actually went out of the aircraft manufacturing business following the debacle of the XA-32.

Only two examples built, the XA-32 (S/N 42-13568) and XA-32A ( S/N 42-13569) but neither went any further than the scrap yard.

Specifications (XA-38)

Data from

General characteristics

Crew: one
Length: 40 ft 7 in ()
Wingspan: 45 ft 1 in ()
Height: ()
Powerplant: 1 x Pratt & Whitney R-2800-37 Radial engine, 2,100 hp ()
Weight - Approx. 13,500 lbs.

Performance

Maximum speed: 311 mph
Cruise speed: 196 mph
Range: 500 miles (with combat load) ()

Armament

8 x .50-cal. machine guns
3,000 lbs. of bombs (1,000 lbs. in an internal fuselage bomb bay and up to one 1,000 lbs. bomb on each wing)

McCullough, Anson. "Grind 'Em Out Ground Attack: The Search for the Elusive Fighter Bomber." Wings, Vol. 25, No. 4, August 1995.

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Source: WikiPedia

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