The Douglas YB-43 Jetmaster was a version of the XB-43 built for testing the in-flight performance of jet engines. Although initially fitted with two General Electric J35 turbojets, one engine was removed and replaced by the test engine. Since the engine exhaust was very close to the aircraft centerline, the thrust difference between the J35 and test engine didn't cause safety problems due to asymmetrical thrust.
The YB-43 had the bombardier's greenhouse nose replaced by a solid type nose which could house test instrumentation if needed. The B-43 was originally designed as an attack aircraft and designated A-43. A solid nose version was planned that would have carried eight .50-cal. machine guns, but the YB-43 solid nose was simply added for convenience.
Testing of the YB-43 continued until late 1953 when the aircraft was retired. The YB-43 is now part of the National Air and Space Museum's collection.
Jet engine testbed aircraft
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 guns were never installed Engine: Initially, two General Electric J35-GE-3 (TG-180) axial flow turbojets of 4,000 lbs. thrust each; one J35 was replaced by a test engine for in-flight performance evaluation 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 maximum, although the aircraft usually flew with just pilot and copilot Serial number: 44-61509