Lockheed XP-73 Sqwordstar

Discussion in 'Aviation' started by GregP, Feb 26, 2013.

  1. GregP

    GregP Well-Known Member

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    This one was kind of a new one on me recently and I thought the forum might be interested.

    After the XP-58 Chain Lightning was turned down by the USAF, Lockheed took the half-assembled second prototype and reworked all the elements to turn it into a single fuselage design for a fast piston interceptor, the Model 39 Swordstar (a mix of "Swordfish", as in the XP-38E test-bed and the usual "star" suffix used by Lockheed). Though unsollicited, the proposal was judged interesting enough for the USAAF to borrow the aircraft from Lockheed and give it the XP-73 designation (serial 43-45315).

    However, the Swordstar was sadly lost after only three hours of test flying in mid-air collision with a Culver PQ-8 Dart target drone gone wild, killing test pilot Shane Bolt. The embarrassment was such that the Air Force agreed on a refund of the prototype and all of Lockheed's expenses on condition that the XP-73 be erased from the records, which was done on both sides. It would have remained a lost chapter of aviation history were it not for a set of documents hidden away by one of the project's engineers that resurfaced recently after his passing. Only this one very rare photograph of it has survived to this day.

    View attachment 226020
     
  2. Shortround6

    Shortround6 Well-Known Member

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    You should have waited 36 more days before posting :)
     
  3. fubar57

    fubar57 Well-Known Member

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    #3 fubar57, Feb 26, 2013
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2013
    Kinda looks like half of a P-38. :twisted:

    Capture.JPG

    Geo
     
  4. MikeGazdik

    MikeGazdik Member

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    Wow!!!! That is some very neat information and a great looking Lockheed! It lived such a short life, was there any performance charts or indications of what it may have been capable of doing?
     
  5. GregP

    GregP Well-Known Member

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    Not that I could find. It was made from pieces of the XP-58 Chain Lightning, ao I assume the engine is an Allison V-3420 but ... that is just an assuumption on my part; I don't really know.
     
  6. wuzak

    wuzak Well-Known Member

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    XP-73 was the Hughes D-2.
     
  7. FLYBOYJ

    FLYBOYJ "THE GREAT GAZOO"
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    Hmmmmmm..........

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  8. GregP

    GregP Well-Known Member

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    #8 GregP, Feb 26, 2013
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2013
    Wuzak, perhaps you didn't read the post. They removed it from the records until recently ...

    I FOUND this and thought it would be interesting, I don't claim to know anything about the aircraft or even if it was real.

    Hi Flyboyj, yah ... I saw that, too. But since it was supposed to have been made FROM the Chain Lightning, the resemblence makes sense ... if it can be believed. No reason why it wouldn't work, I simply wonder that the aircraft occurred to anyone.

    Maybe it didn't and this is another "internet fact" that needs looking into.
     
  9. wuzak

    wuzak Well-Known Member

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  10. GregP

    GregP Well-Known Member

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    Well, THAT sure helps, Wuzak! Glad it wasn't something that "got by" and we all missed it.

    Ah well, the email I got didn't include that part of the text ... At least it's good to know they really didn't waste the time to try it.

    Thanks, Wuzak.

    I suppose if its too stupid to be true, it isn't!
     
  11. wuzak

    wuzak Well-Known Member

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    I know him from WhatifModellers.com. Usually what if models/profiles there are accompanied by what if stories.
     
  12. Capt. Vick

    Capt. Vick Well-Known Member

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    NICE! Love it!
     
  13. tomo pauk

    tomo pauk Creator of Interesting Threads

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  14. FLYBOYJ

    FLYBOYJ "THE GREAT GAZOO"
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  15. T Bolt

    T Bolt Well-Known Member

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    He picked a good tail number though, 43-45315 was from a canceled contract. I looked it up thinking he had shopped the tail from a C-119 which looks very similar, but that's not quite it. I wonder what aircraft it came from.
     
  16. T Bolt

    T Bolt Well-Known Member

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    Looks like you have the source picture all right. Top is a crop of a larger version of your pic of the XP-58 and the bottom is a crop and enlargement of his. Same guy in the back seat :lol:
     

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  17. vikingBerserker

    vikingBerserker Well-Known Member

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    Dammit, it was such a cool looking plane!
     
  18. tyrodtom

    tyrodtom Well-Known Member

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    If you look close, it looks like it has 3 people in the cockpit.
     
  19. T Bolt

    T Bolt Well-Known Member

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    The third guy is from the tail cone of the XP-58 which was used to make up the rear portion of the canopy

    Here's one I through together using paint during my lunch hour. The mountainous background makes it kinda tough.
     

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