By December 1944 proposals had been received from Boeing, Convair, Martin and North American for medium axial turbojet-powered bomber for tactical- and operational-level use. Convair gained a contract for three XB-46 prototypes from the US Army Air Force.
Of all-metal construction, the XB-46 was of high-wing cantilever monoplane configuration, had a slim oval-section fuselage, conventional tail unit, retractable tricycle landing gear and was designed to accommodate a crew of three. Power was provided by four General Electric TG‑180 turbojet engines, these being mounted in pairs.
First flown on 2 April 1947, the XB-46 was handed over to the newly-formed US Air Force in late 1947, attaining an average speed of 858km/h during its delivery flight to Wright Field at Daytona, Ohio. Despite this performance the XB-46 remained a one-off prototype, cancelled in 1947, the USAF ordering the Boeing B-47 Stratojet into production.
Engines: 4 x turbo-jet General Electric TG-180(J35), 1814kW
Empty weight: 21782 kg / 48021 lb
Wingspan: 34.44 m / 112 ft 12 in
Length: 32.24 m / 105 ft 9 in
Height: 8.53 m / 27 ft 12 in
Wing area: 102.1 sq.m / 1098.99 sq ft
Max take-off weight: 41278 kg / 91003 lb
Max. speed: 813 km/h / 505 mph
Cruise speed: 700 km/h / 435 mph
Ceiling: 13105 m / 43000 ft
Range: 4820 km / 2995 miles
Bomb load: 9000kg