Friday, October 19, 2012
Douglas Model 1211
Tupolev's Tu-95/142 Bear is notable as the only turboprop powered heavy bomber to enter operational service, but equivalent and even larger were under consideration in the US at the time that the Bear was being designed. Among the more radical of these was the Douglas 1211, a four-engined monster with a wingspan of some 227 feet, substantially more than that of Boeing's B-52, which the 1211 was intended to compete with. Indeed, the span was so great that auxiliary landing gear, dropped after takeoff, would be fitted outboard of the engines. Self defense would come in the form of 20mm cannon, MX-904 missiles (which would later emerge as the AIM-4 Falcon), and even F4D Skyray fighters carried parasitically under wing. Offensively, the 1211 would be capable of employing the 44,000lb T-12 Cloudmaker bomb.