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Bell Model 32 lightweight fighter (USAAF XP-77)

Stargazer2006

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Direct from the online San Diego Air and Space Museum archives on Flickr (Part 1 of 4):
 

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Stargazer2006

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Direct from the online San Diego Air and Space Museum archives on Flickr (Part 2 of 4):
 

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Stargazer2006

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Direct from the online San Diego Air and Space Museum archives on Flickr (Part 3 of 4):
 

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Stargazer2006

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Direct from the online San Diego Air and Space Museum archives on Flickr (Part 4 of 4):
 

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Apophenia

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Thanks Stargazer'! Anyone know what the upside down transport fuselage mockup is in 4562158676.jpg ?
 

FutureSpaceTourist

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Some great images, thank you!

Am I the only one who on first glance at this picture:



thought that it's unusual to do a wind tunnel test of how an aircraft flies when the maintenance enginer forgot to climb down before take-off? ;D
 

saturncanuck

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Anyone know the fate of the first XP-77? It was supposed to have been displayed at "Wood City" after the war, but after that it is a blank...
 

XP67_Moonbat

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Courtesy of our very own Jared, an article on an improved XP-77.

http://retromechanix.com/article/fighters/proposal-for-improved-bell-xp-77-1944/
 

jzichek

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Beat me to it again, XP67_Moonbat! :) Just want everyone to know that the Bell XP-77 article at RetroMechanix.com reproduces a vintage Bell report providing an excellent history of this unusual fighter prototype up to mid-1944, one of the best summaries I've come across. The end of the document also features a proposal for an improved all-metal version with a turbosupercharger and a bubble canopy, as shown immediately below. The accompanying gallery features 37 images, including several high resolution photos and drawings.





-Jared
 

Stargazer2006

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jzichek said:
The end of the document also features a proposal for an improved all-metal version with a turbosupercharger and a bubble canopy, as shown immediately below.
Makes me wonder if this is similar to the Model 35, which was the planned P-77A.
 

Johnbr

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The all metal one looks like the Me 309.
 

sienar

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jzichek

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Very cool, sienar! I will add the link to that report in my article. Some of the tail configurations remind me of those tested on the Bell P-39/P-63.
 

sienar

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You should read the full document, it covers the different tail configurations for those planes - it even has an all moving tail P-39d.
 

sienar

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Two pieces of bell artwork. I'm not sure how accurately the cutaway represents the final arrangement of the prototype aircraft as this has the earlier tail and cowling design.


There are 2 documents concerning the handling of the bell Xp-77 located in this much larger document here (be warned, its a near 100mb pdf); http://ntrs.nasa.gov/archive/nasa/casi.ntrs.nasa.gov/19770022115_1977022115.pdf


The relevant reports are on pages 232 and 316.


Again, the version wind tunnel tested here is pre enlarged vert stab. The reports note mostly satisfactory handling and a high rate of roll, but unsatisfactory stability with flaps deflected for landing and climb under power with flaps partially deflected, as well as instability due to sideslip in some speed regimens.


However the main thing of interest in this document is the mention of a high and low altitude version of the Xp-77, but not much info is given. Apparently the high altitude version was to have a larger diameter propeller (10.5') and a different line of thrust. Power is listed as 515 military and 450 nominal for the low altitude version with a critical alt of 12,000' and the high altitude version of approximately the same power ratings and a critical altitude of 27,000'


Given the date of the report I do not believe the high alt version described here is the improved xp-7 discussed above.


The 3-view here is from the above report because, well, it never hurts to have more 3 views!
 

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Stargazer2006

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Awesome pics. Give a good idea of the aircraft's size. Not as tiny as its shape suggests!
 

Boxman

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sienar said:
Some photos that are new to me including a screencap from a discover show of the cockpit.
Nice. Those last two also feature Bell test pilot Jack Woolams (1917-1946).
 

Avimimus

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sienar said:
You should read the full document, it covers the different tail configurations for those planes - it even has an all moving tail P-39d.
Wait - they considered giving the P-39 (*with its weird cg due to the engine placement*) - a WWI style all-moving tail?? I can imagine how popular that would've been.
 

sienar

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Stargazer2006

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Absolutely splendid pics. Thanks for bringing these (and the other Bell pics) to our attention.
 

sienar

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Xp-77 cockpit from an ebay auction.

http://m.ebay.com/itm/Photograph-reprint-8x10-Bell-XP-77-Cockpit-153602-/121834962827?nav=SEARCH
 

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