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Posted 11/2/2009 Printable Fact Sheet
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Curtiss XP-31
Curtiss XP-31, with the Wright R-1820 Cyclone radial engine. (U.S. Air Force photo)
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The XP-31 was the first monoplane pursuit aircraft built by Curtiss and was designed to compete with the Boeing P-26. The XP-31 (S/N 33-178) was tested as the XP-934 and initially had a Wright R-1820 Cyclone radial engine installed. Because of poor performance, the engine was replaced with a Curtiss Conqueror, which radically altered its appearance, but didn't improve performance enough to warrant production.

The XP-31 featured the first enclosed cockpit on a pursuit aircraft (it was built before the P-29). It was also the last pursuit aircraft to have fixed landing gear and externally braced wings.

Type Number built/
XP-31 1 First with radial, then "vee" engine

TECHNICAL NOTES (with V-1570 engine):
Armament: Two .30-cal. machine guns and (later) two .30-cal. machine guns in blisters mounted beside the cockpit
Engine: Curtiss V-1570-53 Conqueror of 600 hp
Maximum speed: 208 mph
Service ceiling: 24,400 ft.
Range: 370 mi.
Weight: 3,334 lbs. empty/4,143 lbs. (maximum)
Span: 36 ft. 0 in.
Length: 26 ft. 3 in.
Height: 7 ft. 9 in.

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