Monday, May 26, 2008
Douglas BTD Destroyer
The BTD Destroyer was one of Ed Heinemann's lesser-known designs, originating as the SB2D-1 of 1943, which was intended as a replacement for the Dauntless. Far more powerful than the SBD, the Destroyer was powered by an R-3350 Cyclone, and had an inverted gull wing, internal weapons bay, and tricycle landing gear. The initial design had tow crewman, but the production BTD-1 was recast as a single seater. The Navy ordered over 350 BTD-1s, but by the time the program was cancelled in 1945, fewer than thirty had actually been built. There was an attempt to boost the Destroyer's speed by fitting a Westinghouse 19B turbojet in the tail, but this did not lead anywhere. A single BTD-1 survives, at the Wings of Eagles Discovery Center, at Elmira, New York.