Lockheed XP-900 / YP-24
The sole YP-24, delivered to the Army on 29 September 1931, was the first fighter designed under engineer Robert Wood at Lockheed. Initially designated XP-900, the YP-24 was a low-wing monoplane two-seater with retractable landing gear, powered by a Curtiss Conqueror engine. Of composite wood and metal construction, it carried a rear gunner and had a top speed of 344km/h. The fastest fighter in the United States in 1931. The YP-24 was big for a fighter, with a wing span of 13.03m and a maximum take-off weight of 1978kg.
During a test flight on 19 October 1931, the YP-24 experienced a mechanical problem with its landing gear partially lowered. The landing gear could not be made to lower fully and lock into place. The pilot was able to retract the gear and was contemplating a belly landing, but observers were concerned that the low-slung engine radiator would dig in, flipping the heavy aircraft on its back. The pilot was ordered to parachute to safety and the YP-24 was lost.
It was to be company finances, not the merits of the design, which doomed the YP-24 to 'one-off' status.
In 1932, the Lockheed firm would separate from both its founder and Detroit Aircraft Corporation, and would be rescued and re-organized by a new chief executive, Robert Gross. But by then it was too late for the YP-24. The Army ordered five YlP-24s and five further airframes to be built as YA-9 attack bombers, but none was ever completed.
Engine: Curtiss Conqueror
Max take-off weight: 1978 kg / 4361 lb
Empty weight: 1365 kg / 3009 lb
Wingspan: 13.03 m / 42 ft 9 in
Length: 8.76 m / 28 ft 9 in
Height: 2.49 m / 8 ft 2 in
Wing area: 27.13 sq.m / 292.02 sq ft
Max. speed: 344 km/h / 214 mph
Cruise speed: 290 km/h / 180 mph
Ceiling: 8047 m / 26400 ft
Range: 895 km / 556 miles
Armament: 1 x 12.7mm, 1 x 7.62mm fixed machine-guns, 1 x 7.62mm in the rear