Historical Snapshot

XF8B-1 Fighter-Bomber

The XF8B-1 fighter-bomber was the heaviest carrier-based airplane built before the end of World War II. It was the first fighter Boeing built after the P-26 “Peashooter” of 1936 and the last before the FA-22 in 1990.

The XF8B-1 could be flown as a torpedo bomber and, because of its single-seat configuration, could also be used as a fighter. Because of its size and great horsepower, the XF8B-1 used an unusual dual six-blade contra-rotating propeller. It carried bombs internally and extra fuel externally, and its six machine guns were mounted inside the folding wings.

Only three XF8B-1s were built during 1944 and 1945. The aircraft never went into major production because changing wartime strategy required that Boeing concentrate on building land-based large bombers and transports.

    Technical Specifications

    First flight Nov. 27, 1944
    Model number 400
    Classification Fighter-bomber
    Span 54 feet
    Length 43 feet 3 inches
    Gross weight 20,508 pounds
    Top speed 432 mph
    Cruising speed 190 mph
    Range 3,500 miles
    Ceiling 37,500 feet
    Power One 2,500-horsepower P&W Wasp Major engine
    Accommodation 1 crew
    Armament Six .50-caliber machine guns or 20 mm cannons, 3,200-pound bomb load