The Douglas XB-43 was basically an all-jet powered revision of the XB-42 design. The Jetmaster had two General Electric TG-180 axial flow turbojets (later redesignated J35-GE-3) installed within the fuselage and was America's first all-jet bomber. The engines generated 4,000 pounds of thrust each with the exhausts located next to each other just below and aft of the horizontal stabilizer. This centerline mounting provided additional safety in case one engine failed in flight (very little asymettrical thrust.) The aircraft was designed to carry up to 8,000 pounds of bombs and was to be armed with a pair of radar-directed .50-cal. machine guns mounted in a tail barbette; however, no bombs were ever carried and the defensive armament wasn't installed on the XB-43.
The Jetmaster project was initiated in late 1943 and the Army approved a two aircraft prototype construction contract the following spring. The first flight of the XB-43 was on May 17, 1946. By this time, all planned purchases for production aircraft had been dropped in favor of the North American B-45. The XB-43 prototypes were used for testing. In particular, the second aircraft (designated YB-43) was used to test various jet engines. The aircraft continued as test planes until retired from service in 1953.
First U.S. all-jet bomber
TECHNICAL NOTES: Armament: Designed for 8,000 lbs. of bombs although none were ever carried; also designed for two .50-cal. machine guns in the tail, but the guns were never installed Engine: Two General Electric J35-GE-3 (TG-180) axial flow turbojets of 4,000 lbs. thrust each Maximum speed: 503 mph Cruising speed: 410 mph Range: Approx. 2,500 miles Service ceiling: 38,500 ft. Span: 71 ft. 2 in. Length: 51 ft. 5 in. Height: 24 ft. 3 in. Weight: 40,000 lbs. (maximum gross weight) Crew: Three Serial number: 44-61508