Wednesday, 17 May 2017

Twin Engine Wonder

Taking flight for the first time in February 1941, the Grumman XP-50 Skyrocket was designed to meet the prior United States Army Air Corps requirement for a twin-engine heavy interceptor aircraft. Although facing stiff competition in the form of the Lockheed XP-49, a prototype for a revised version of the Lockheed P-38, the US Army ordered a single XP-50, itself a modified land based version of the Navy's XF5F-1, to be built for testing, just in case the Lockheed entry didn't pan out

Successful testing and flights were carried until April (some sources claim May) 1941, when the sole prototype suffered a catastrophic turbo-supercharger explosion and was lost over Long Island Sound. Test pilot Robert Hall bailed out to safety and it is unknown if the wreck was ever recovered.

Enjoying a much longer service life than the real life counterpart, my own tier VI premium XP-50 is celebrating 3 years of ownership by yours truly.

Although I can't remember all the details of the given conversation, I was once asked to describe this aircraft, as depicted in World of Warplanes. My answer was, "imagine a twin engine Corsair." At that time, I was flying both the premium and tech tree version of the "Bentwing Widowmaker" and found the same flexible playstyle in the XP-50. Very good and reliable firepower, great climb rate and maneuverability, it doesn't feel much heavier that a single engine fighter, except in extreme low altitude engagements.

In fact, here is a demonstration of what I have been talking about....

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