Design and development Curtiss offered the XP-31 (given the Wright Field Project Number XP-934) in a 1932 competition with the P-26. It was a low-wing monoplane with fixed, strut-braced landing gear, first flown in July. It was the AAC's first single-seat closed-cockpit fighter, and the last with fixed gear and wing struts. Despite its quite small size, it was badly overweight, and carried 125 gal (104 Imp gal, 474 l) fuel. Although Curtiss considered the design significant in that it introduced various new technologies, compared to its contemporaries, the XP-31 was already outmoded, and, more importantly, testing showed that it fell below performance expectations. Testing and evaluation The Curtiss XP-934 in its original radial engine configuration Side view of the XP-31's original configuration Powered by a 700 hp (520 kW) R-1750 Cyclone radial, its performance was dismal, despite retractable leading edge slots and large trailing-edge flaps, so a 600 hp (450 kW) Curtiss V-1570 Conqueror was substituted. In this form, the Curtiss XP-31 Swift (s/n 33-178) was delivered on 1 March 1933, having already lost to the P-26. The sole example was scrapped in 1935.[2] [edit]Operators United States United States Army Air Corps [edit]Specifications Data from U.S. Fighters: Army-Air Force 1925 to 1980s[3] and Fighters of the United States Air Force[2] General characteristics Crew: 1 pilot Length: 26 ft 3 in (8 m) Wingspan: 36 ft in (11 m) Height: 7 ft 9 in (2.4 m) Wing area: 203 ft2 (18.86 m2) Empty weight: 3,334 lb (1,512 kg) Gross weight: 4,143 lb (1879 kg) Powerplant: 1 × Curtiss V-1570 Conqueror water-cooled 12-cylinder vee engine, 600 hp (450 kW) Performance Maximum speed: 208 mph (335 km/h) Range: 370 miles (595 km) Service ceiling: 24,400 ft (7,437 m) Armament 2 × fixed, forward-firing .30 in (7.62 mm) M1919 Browning machine guns in cowl 2 × fixed, forward-firing .30 in (7.62 mm) M1919 Browning machine guns in cheeks Related lists List of military aircraft of the United States

johnbr, Apr 14, 2013
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