Douglas TB2D Skypirate

Design and developmentIn 1939, Douglas designers, Ed Heinemann and Bob Donovan began work on a VTB Proposal to replace the TBD Devastator torpedo bomber. In 1942, the team led by Heinemann and Donovan began work on a new project named the "Devastator II". On 31 October 1943, just four days after the new Midway class aircraft carriers were ordered into production, Douglas received a contract for two prototypes, designated TB2D, receiving the official name: "Skypirate".[1] The TB2D was powered by a Pratt & Whitney R-4360 Wasp Major driving contra-rotating propellers. Four torpedoes or an equivalent bomb load could be carried on underwing pylons. Defensive armament consisted of two 20 mm (.79 in) cannon in the wings and .50 in (12.7 mm) machine guns mounted in a power-operated dorsal turret.[2] Very large for a single-engined aircraft, the TB2D would have been the largest piston-engined carrierborne aircraft at the time if it had been deployed. It could carry four times the weapon load of the TBF Avenger and was larger, heavier and faster than a B-25 Mitchell bomber. With only limited support from the US Navy, and facing a recommendation for cancellation on 20 May 1944 due to the aircraft being designed only for the CVB and CV9 carriers, the TB2B project was in peril even General characteristics Crew: 3 Length: 46 ft 0 in (14.02 m) Wingspan: 70 ft 0 in (21.34 m) Height: 22 ft 7 in (6.88) Wing area: 605 ft² (56.2 m²) Empty weight: 18,405 lb (8,348 kg) Loaded weight: 28,545 lb (12,948 kg) Max. takeoff weight: 34,760 lb (15,767 kg) Powerplant: 1 × Pratt & Whitney R-4360-8 Wasp Major radial engine, 3,000 hp (2,238 kW) Performance Maximum speed: 340 mph (296 kn, 546 km/h) Cruise speed: 168 mph (146 kn, 270 km/h) Range: 1,250 mi (1,087 nmi, 2,013 km) Service ceiling: 24,500 ft (7,450 m) Rate of climb: 1,390 ft/min (7.2 m/s) Armament Guns: 4 × wing mounted .50 in (12.7 mm) machine guns 2 × .50 in (12.7 mm) machine guns in dorsal turret 1 × .50 in machine gun in ventral bath Bombs: Up to 8,400 lb (3,810 kg) of bombs or four torpedoes

Douglas TB2D Skypirate
johnbr, Mar 1, 2012
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    Torpedo Bombers
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    Mar 1, 2012
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