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VULTEE A-35B

Posted 12/31/2008 Printable Fact Sheet
 
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Vultee A-35B
Vultee A-35B-VN (S/N 41-31256), one of the first A-35Bs built. Note the three machine gun ports in the wing -- an easy way to identify an A-35B. (U.S. Air Force photo)
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The Vultee A-35B was an improved version of the A-35A. While the A-35As were being built, Vultee engineers continued refining the design and, beginning with the 100th aircraft, incorporated a few major changes. The Wright Cyclone radial engine was upgraded to a more powerful version resulting in a gain of 100 hp. The fixed machine gun armament in the wings was upgraded from four to six .50-cal. machine guns also.

The A-35 (both A and B models) had a modified wing incidence to improve visibility during takeoffs, landings and in normal cruise. The original design called for a zero-degree incidence to improve dive bombing performance at steep attacking angles. This, however, required the aircraft to be flown in a slightly nose high attitude during normal flight thus restricting the pilot's forward visibility. The Air Corps required a change to four-degree incidence, which eased the visibility problem, but created a problem with steep angle dive bombing attacks. This, in turn, meant the aircraft had to attack at shallower angles making the aircraft more vulnerable to antiaircraft fire in combat.

Because of production delays and the Army's resistance to dive bombers in general -- the twin-engine light attack bomber was the weapon of choice -- the A-35 was relegated to secondary roles like training and target tug duty. Most of the A-35s were exported for use by British Commonwealth countries which used the Model 72, A-31 and A-35 Vengeance dive bombers with some success.


Type Number built/
converted
Remarks
A-35B 831 Improved A-35A


TECHNICAL NOTES:
Armament: Six fixed .50-cal. machine guns in the wings, one .50-cal. machine gun in a flexible mount for the rear gunner plus 2,000 lbs. of bombs (two 500-lb. bombs internal and two 500-lb. bombs on external wing racks)
Engine: Wright R-2600-13 Cyclone radial of 1,700 hp
Maximum speed: 279 mph
Cruising speed: 230 mph
Range: 1,400 miles maximum ferry range
Service ceiling: 22,300 ft.
Span: 48 ft. 0 in.
Length: 39 ft. 9 in.
Height: 15 ft. 4 in.
Weight: 17,100 lbs. maximum
Crew: Two (pilot, navigator/gunner)
Serial numbers: 41-31247 to 41-31447; 42-94149 to 42-94548; 42-101236 to 42-101465

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