The Douglas XB-19 was originally designated XBLR-2 (Experimental Bomber - Long Range) and was the largest bomber built for the Army up to that time (1938). Only three aircraft were given XBLR designations: the Boeing XBLR-1 (later renamed XB-15), the XB-19 and the Sikorsky XBLR-3 (a design study that was never built).
The XB-19 was essentially used as a test bed for very large bomber construction techniques and flight characteristics. The Douglas Aircraft Co. actually wanted to cancel the project because of the expense and extended construction time that made the aircraft obsolete before it ever flew; however, the Army Air Corps insisted the aircraft be completed for test use.
The XB-19's first flight was June 27, 1941, more than three years after the construction contract was awarded. In 1943 the original radial engines were replaced by Allison V-3420 in-line engines and the aircraft was redesignated XB-19A. After testing was completed, the XB-19A was used as a cargo/transport aircraft until 1949 when it was scrapped.
TECHNICAL NOTES: Armament: Two .37mm cannon, five .50-cal. and six .30-cal. machine guns; 18,700 lbs. of bombs (maximum load) Engines: Four Wright R-3350-5 radials of 2,000 hp each Maximum speed: 224 mph at 15,500 ft. Cruising speed: 135 mph Service ceiling: 23,000 ft. Range: 7,900 miles (maximum ferry range); 7,300 miles with 6,000 lbs. of bombs Span: 212 ft. 0 in. Length: 132 ft. 2 in. Height: 42 ft. 9 in. Weight: 140,000 lbs. gross weight Crew: 18 (maximum) Serial number: 38-471