Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Boeing F8B

Boeing, which had not built an operational fighter for the USN since the F4B biplane, attempted to reenter the field with its Model 400 design, built as the XF8B-1. Similar in concept to the Skyraider and Mauler but much larger, the XF8B was conceived as a "swing role" fighter-bomber with a range of nearly 3,000 miles. Over 3,000lbs of bombs, rockets, or torpedoes could be carried, along with six .50-calibers or 20-mm cannon in the wings. A Wasp Major engine would give the new aircraft a top speed of 430mph.

The XF8B-1 prototype, finished in a natural metal scheme, flew in November 1944, but the other two prototypes contracted for were not finished until after the war had ended. Although the Boeing fighter was among the most powerful aircraft of its class, the urgent wartime need had vanished, and the XF8B-1 was to prove the last Boeing tactical aircraft to be built for many years. All three prototypes were scrapped by 1950.

F8B Bibliography
[Photo: XF8B-1] Air Classics  March 1979  p.88

"Workbench Reviews: Boeing XF8B-1"  FineScale Modeler May 2005, p.68. Covers the limited run injection-molded kit from Valom.
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