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Posted 11/2/2009 Printable Fact Sheet
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Curtiss XP-42
Curtiss XP-42 3/4 front view. (U.S. Air Force photo)
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The XP-42 was a modification of the fourth production P-36A (S/N 38-004) and tested the use of streamlined engine cowling to reduce the drag of a radial engine. The long tapered cowling had a cooling air scoop under the engine and carburetor air scoops on top. An extension shaft was necessary to drive the propeller which had a large spinner to further reduce drag. The cowling didn't significantly reduce drag and the engine had continuing cooling problems even though numerous cowlings were tested.

The XP-42, late in its test life, was fitted with a moveable horizontal stabilizer similar to a modern jet's stabilator and flown to gather test data on the modification.

Type Number built/
XP-42 1 (cv) Fourth P-36A mod.; new nose; engine change

Armament: None
Engine: Pratt & Whitney R-1830-31 of 1,050 hp
Maximum speed: 315 mph
Cruising speed: 286 mph
Range: 730 miles (105 gal.)/1200 miles with aux. tanks (161 gal.)
Span: 37 ft. 4 in.
Length: 30 ft. 3 in.
Height: 12 ft. 0 in.
Weight: 4,818 lbs. empty/5,920 lbs. gross

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