Comments on: XP-83 Aviation Enthusiast Web Site Tue, 02 Apr 2019 18:30:42 +0000 hourly 1 By: Ron Thu, 11 Mar 2010 06:21:59 +0000 Why the heck couldn’t this plane have swept wings to improve speed?
Bell had experimented earlier than most competition with the L-39 wing, I believe. I don’t know about the safety of the ram-jets, but the rocket on the X-1 was a success. How would a combo jet with rocket assist do? Certainly it wouldn’t hurt it’s ceiling (vs a high flying MiG-15).
If it’s necessary to haul so much weight (fuel), I suggest an unmanned rear firing gun through the tail just to give the frequent enemy attacker second thoughts (say, a 37mm cannon stinger)… maybe even bag some surprised interceptors.
Forward armament of 6 x 15.2mm guns were also envisioned. The 12.7mm Brownings were inadequate postwar, especially against the MiG. But slower cannon didn’t have a dense enough firing pattern for fast jet combat. The U.S. 20mm Hispano was unreliable anyway, even the M3. Only the RAF Hispano 20mm would pass my consideration. Perhaps a combination of 15.2mm and 20mm Mk V Hispanos. If 20mm only, I would install 8 for dogfighting IF that rocket power was on tap. Otherwise I’d be underpowered and opt for the lighter 15.2mm armament x 6.
I understand this plane was meant to be a long-range escort, but I would have done a version directly competing with the F-84 and F9F etc… in weight but with bigger drop tanks that can be shed for the dogfight. Instead of a warmed over Me 110, it may have had a better shot at success.