Douglas XSB2D-1 / BTD Destroyer
The US Navy had initiated the procurement of an advanced dive-bomber, leading to the development by Douglas of a two-seat aircraft in this category. Two prototypes were ordered by the US Navy in June 1941, designated Douglas XSB2D-1 Destroyer, the first prototype made its initial flight on 8 April 1943.
The prototype was a two-seat dive-bomber, introducing an internal bomb bay and, for the first time for an aircraft to operate from an aircraft-carrier, retractable tricycle landing gear. The US Navy's new requirement was for a single-seat torpedo/dive-bomber, and the XSB2D-1 was modified for this new role by conversion to a single-seat cockpit, the addition of two wing-mounted 20mm cannon, enlargement of the bomb bay and the provision of increased fuel capacity. Airbrakes were installed in each side of the fuselage, and the Wright Cyclone 18 engine of the XSB2D-1 was retained to give the requisite high performance.
A contract on 31 August 1943 increased earlier orders for this aircraft, designated BTD-1 and retaining the name Destroyer, to 358. Deliveries of production aircraft began in June 1944, but only 28 had been delivered before contract cancellation was initiated soon after VJ-Day. The Destroyer's performance was disappointing and it appears the type was not used operationally.
Two aircraft were provided experimentally with a mixed powerplant, a 680kg thrust Westinghouse WE-19XA turbojet being fitted in the rear fuselage and fed with air through a dorsal inlet aft of the cockpit. Thus designated XBTD-2, the aircraft were the first jet-powered machines of Douglas and the US Navy. A first flight was made in May 1945, but at speeds over 322km/h the downward-angled turbojet could not be used. The project was cancelled in late 1945.
Engine: 1 x Wright R-3350-14 Cyclone 18 radial, 2268 hp / 1715kW
Max take-off weight: 8618 kg / 19000 lb
Empty weight: 5244 kg / 11561 lb
Wingspan: 13.72 m / 45 ft 0 in
Wing loading: 51.05 lb/sq.ft / 249.0 kg/sq.m
Length: 11.76 m / 38 ft 7 in
Height: 5.05 m / 16 ft 7 in
Wing area: 34.65 sq.m / 372.97 sq ft
Max. Speed: 299 kts / 554 km/h / 344 mph
Service Ceiling: 7195 m / 23600 ft
Range: 1286 nm / 2382 km / 1480 miles
Armament: 2 x 20mm cannon, one torpedo or 1450kg of bombs