• Hi Guest! Forum rules have been updated. All users please read here.

Curtiss XP-55 Ascender canard fighter (Model CW-24)

Stargazer2006

ACCESS: USAP
Senior Member
Joined
Jun 25, 2009
Messages
13,235
Reaction score
454
XB-70 Guy said:
That's the CW-24B subscale flyable prototype for the XP-55.

Certainly looks it! Yet I'm puzzled because:
1°) it's the first time I've seen the CW-24B in drab, usually it's the pre-1942 yellow airframe with striped fins and USAAC roundels...
2°) the CW-24B had an inline engine, an exhaust underneath the engine, a small cowling and bottom fin. None of all this appears in this photograph... (see attached pictures for reference).

overscan said:
$99? Seems expensive.

Certainly is!

(but then if it IS a genuine CW-24B alternate configuration, depending on the size of the picture and its state of conservation, and provided it is indeed a certified (stamped at the back) Curtiss-Wright or USAAF original, it could very well be worth it (if you have that kind of money of course, which I don't...).
 

Attachments

  • Curtiss Model 24-B.jpg
    Curtiss Model 24-B.jpg
    22.6 KB · Views: 780
  • srvr.jpeg
    srvr.jpeg
    259 KB · Views: 772

Stargazer2006

ACCESS: USAP
Senior Member
Joined
Jun 25, 2009
Messages
13,235
Reaction score
454
XB-70 Guy said:
Maybe it's just the lighting?.....

For the bottom fin, I'd say maybe... but the cowling and engine definitely look different, and the paint job is clearly drab overall, the national markings are the 1941-1945 ones...
 

Bailey

ACCESS: Secret
Joined
Jul 24, 2009
Messages
308
Reaction score
6
I don't claim to be an expert here, but after blowing up the photo as large as I could, I think it is the XP-55. There appears to be a definite bulge in front of the top fin, and the undercarriage looks like it is retractable.

Cheers Baily
 

Steve Pace

Aviation History Writer
Joined
Jan 6, 2013
Messages
2,268
Reaction score
35
FYI: The CW-29B made its first flight on December 2, 1941 at what is now Rogers Dry Lake at Edwards AFB, CA.
 

Bailey

ACCESS: Secret
Joined
Jul 24, 2009
Messages
308
Reaction score
6
Found another photo which I think was taken on the same day and location, based on the aircraft's angle on hardstanding and the paving blocks in the foreground.

Regards Bailey.
 

Attachments

  • Curtiss-XP55.jpg
    Curtiss-XP55.jpg
    92.7 KB · Views: 739

Steve Pace

Aviation History Writer
Joined
Jan 6, 2013
Messages
2,268
Reaction score
35
Two more -
 

Attachments

  • Curtiss-XP55-2.jpg
    Curtiss-XP55-2.jpg
    43.7 KB · Views: 677
  • Curtiss-XP55-3.jpg
    Curtiss-XP55-3.jpg
    43.8 KB · Views: 110

Justo Miranda

ACCESS: Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
Dec 2, 2007
Messages
4,221
Reaction score
1,868
additional info-post-1
 

Attachments

  • Escanear0006.jpg
    Escanear0006.jpg
    158.5 KB · Views: 228
  • Escanear0005.jpg
    Escanear0005.jpg
    51 KB · Views: 243
  • Escanear0004.jpg
    Escanear0004.jpg
    184.2 KB · Views: 317
  • Escanear0003.jpg
    Escanear0003.jpg
    305.4 KB · Views: 310
  • Escanear0002.jpg
    Escanear0002.jpg
    300.9 KB · Views: 303
  • Escanear0001.jpg
    Escanear0001.jpg
    294.1 KB · Views: 287

Justo Miranda

ACCESS: Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
Dec 2, 2007
Messages
4,221
Reaction score
1,868
additional info-post-2
 

Attachments

  • Escanear0012.jpg
    Escanear0012.jpg
    162 KB · Views: 193
  • Escanear0011.jpg
    Escanear0011.jpg
    325.7 KB · Views: 238
  • Escanear0010.jpg
    Escanear0010.jpg
    231 KB · Views: 205
  • Escanear0009.jpg
    Escanear0009.jpg
    368.2 KB · Views: 299
  • Escanear0008.jpg
    Escanear0008.jpg
    316.3 KB · Views: 318
  • Escanear0007.jpg
    Escanear0007.jpg
    113.2 KB · Views: 165

Justo Miranda

ACCESS: Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
Dec 2, 2007
Messages
4,221
Reaction score
1,868
additional info-post-3
 

Attachments

  • Escanear0015.jpg
    Escanear0015.jpg
    266 KB · Views: 241
  • Escanear0014.jpg
    Escanear0014.jpg
    169.7 KB · Views: 166
  • Escanear0013.jpg
    Escanear0013.jpg
    143.5 KB · Views: 172

Justo Miranda

ACCESS: Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
Dec 2, 2007
Messages
4,221
Reaction score
1,868
additional info-post-4
 

Attachments

  • Escanear0001.jpg
    Escanear0001.jpg
    138.9 KB · Views: 390
  • Escanear0002.jpg
    Escanear0002.jpg
    495.1 KB · Views: 384
  • Escanear0003.jpg
    Escanear0003.jpg
    111.1 KB · Views: 580

Antonio

ACCESS: Top Secret
Staff member
Senior Member
Joined
Jan 22, 2006
Messages
3,460
Reaction score
191
Amazing Justo again,

Thanks for that superb collection of images

¡1x10E6 Gracias!

Antonio
 

Stargazer2006

ACCESS: USAP
Senior Member
Joined
Jun 25, 2009
Messages
13,235
Reaction score
454
Justo, I cannot start to thank you enough for you escanears... I'm a Curtiss buff (preparing a website on the subject, by the way) and many of these I had not seen before. Also I have that MPM 1:72 model of the XP-55 that has been waiting for 8 years to be done... and all this material will be of tremendous help when I get around to it! (how I wish it had existed in 1:48 scale...)
 

AeroFranz

ACCESS: Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
May 4, 2008
Messages
2,260
Reaction score
160
Stargazer2006 said:
Justo, I cannot start to thank you enough for you escanears... I'm a Curtiss buff (preparing a website on the subject, by the way)

do you have To join with the eagles? It should be a pretty good reference for your needs. Looking forward to seeing your pages!

http://www.amazon.com/Join-Eagles-Complete-Illustrated-Curtiss-Wright/dp/038502794X
 

elmayerle

ACCESS: Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
Jan 8, 2006
Messages
1,345
Reaction score
117
I've seen a drawing of one version of Lockheed's L-133 that resembled a jet-version, with bubble canopy, of the XP-55 and included a side view of a much-modified CW-24B as a testbed. Fortunately, I *did* save that one from the LM archives.
 

Attachments

  • L-133 Study.jpg
    L-133 Study.jpg
    196.2 KB · Views: 345

Steve Pace

Aviation History Writer
Joined
Jan 6, 2013
Messages
2,268
Reaction score
35
Lockheed Model 30 in my book LOCKHEED AIRCRAFT SINCE 1913 says "proposed twin-engine attack bomber with canard foreplanes."
 

redstar72

Soviet Aviation enthusiast
Senior Member
Joined
Jun 7, 2009
Messages
517
Reaction score
48
One more XP-55 drawing - this time from Czech L+K 19/1980, by Stanislav Smekal:
 

Attachments

  • xp55-draw_lk.jpg
    xp55-draw_lk.jpg
    487.7 KB · Views: 279

Stargazer2006

ACCESS: USAP
Senior Member
Joined
Jun 25, 2009
Messages
13,235
Reaction score
454
Okay, so now I'm home and I can access my files. Lockheed worked on two distinct canard combat projects: the first one was the L-133, a stainless steel twin-engine jet fighter, and the L-137, a high-altitude bomber project competing for Type Specification XC-124 XC-214 against the B-27 and B-28 (not to be mistaken with the L-129, competing for the same spec but with a conventional configuration). The L-137 was also called the Model 30 and is portrayed in the various attached pictures. I believe the artwork you found is another take on that selfsame project.
 

Attachments

  • 30c.jpg
    30c.jpg
    105.5 KB · Views: 204
  • 30b.jpg
    30b.jpg
    40.4 KB · Views: 190
  • 30a.jpg
    30a.jpg
    66.5 KB · Views: 151

Steve Pace

Aviation History Writer
Joined
Jan 6, 2013
Messages
2,268
Reaction score
35
Do I see a bomb bay? Could it be a twin engine attack bomber?
 

elmayerle

ACCESS: Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
Jan 8, 2006
Messages
1,345
Reaction score
117
Stargazer2006 said:
Okay, so now I'm home and I can access my files. Lockheed worked on two distinct canard combat projects: the first one was the L-133, a stainless steel twin-engine jet fighter, and the L-137, a high-altitude bomber project competing for Type Specification XC-124 against the B-27 and B-28 (not to be mistaken with the L-129, competing for the same spec but with a conventional configuration). The L-137 was also called the Model 30 and is portrayed in the various attached pictures. I believe the artwork you found is another take on that selfsame project.
As far as I know, what I posted was a jet fighter study - that's how it was labelled int eh archives.
 

Stargazer2006

ACCESS: USAP
Senior Member
Joined
Jun 25, 2009
Messages
13,235
Reaction score
454
elmayerle said:
Stargazer2006 said:
Okay, so now I'm home and I can access my files. Lockheed worked on two distinct canard combat projects: the first one was the L-133, a stainless steel twin-engine jet fighter, and the L-137, a high-altitude bomber project competing for Type Specification XC-124 against the B-27 and B-28 (not to be mistaken with the L-129, competing for the same spec but with a conventional configuration). The L-137 was also called the Model 30 and is portrayed in the various attached pictures. I believe the artwork you found is another take on that selfsame project.
As far as I know, what I posted was a jet fighter study - that's how it was labelled int eh archives.

I see. Then I don't know what to think about it. The configuration is close to the L-137... and VERY different from the L-133 fighter proposal. Could it be that the L-137 evolved from a late, tailless, swept-wing variation of the L-133?
 

XP67_Moonbat

ACCESS: Top Secret
Joined
Jan 16, 2008
Messages
2,160
Reaction score
55
I think maybe at this the mods would consider renaming this thread "Early US Canard Projects" or something like that.
 

Mark Nankivil

ACCESS: Top Secret
Top Contributor
Senior Member
Joined
Jun 13, 2007
Messages
1,629
Reaction score
512
One of the XP-55 Ascender prototypes (No.2 42-78846) still exists and was fully restored by the Kalamazoo Air Zoo a few years back. In '07, I visited the museum and photographed it in detail. I can post photos if anyone is interested. It is impressive to see in person. Turns out too that the Father of a friend of mine here in St. Louis worked on the Ascender and was responsible for the fuselage design.

Gerald Balzer did a 3 or 4 part series in AAHS (American Aviation Historical Society) on the XP-55 and also covered The XP-54, XP-55, and XP-56 in a new book:

http://www.specialtypress.com/vstore/showdetl.cfm?DID=8&Product_ID=1847&CATID=1

Excellent book - I'd recommend it.
 

Stargazer2006

ACCESS: USAP
Senior Member
Joined
Jun 25, 2009
Messages
13,235
Reaction score
454
Mark Nankivil said:
Turns out too that the Father of a friend of mine here in St. Louis worked on the Ascender and was responsible for the fuselage design.

Amazing! Could you possibly have him interviewed so you can collect his memories before they are lost forever? There are probably very few former Curtiss employees still alive to share their anecdotes and general feeling about that era, so every testimony is precious...
 

Mark Nankivil

ACCESS: Top Secret
Top Contributor
Senior Member
Joined
Jun 13, 2007
Messages
1,629
Reaction score
512
Sadly he in no longer with us. Bob showed me the photos of his Father the design team with the XP-55 (first prototype I believe). I need to talk him into letting me scan them...

I'll work on resizing the images of Ascender at the Air Zoo and post them soon. They really did a great job with it. The NASM should be proud they loaned it to them!

Enjoy the Day! Mark
 

Mark Nankivil

ACCESS: Top Secret
Top Contributor
Senior Member
Joined
Jun 13, 2007
Messages
1,629
Reaction score
512
Here you go...

Enjoy the Day! Mark
 

Attachments

  • zXP-55-CS 42-78846 - 38.jpg
    zXP-55-CS 42-78846 - 38.jpg
    91.4 KB · Views: 139
  • zXP-55-CS 42-78846 - 36.jpg
    zXP-55-CS 42-78846 - 36.jpg
    156.6 KB · Views: 145
  • zXP-55-CS 42-78846 - 16.jpg
    zXP-55-CS 42-78846 - 16.jpg
    403.5 KB · Views: 260
  • zXP-55-CS 42-78846 - 11.jpg
    zXP-55-CS 42-78846 - 11.jpg
    176.8 KB · Views: 267
  • zXP-55-CS 42-78846 - 06.jpg
    zXP-55-CS 42-78846 - 06.jpg
    246 KB · Views: 286
  • zXP-55-CS 42-78846 - 02.jpg
    zXP-55-CS 42-78846 - 02.jpg
    166.2 KB · Views: 306
  • zXP-55-CS 42-78846 - 01.jpg
    zXP-55-CS 42-78846 - 01.jpg
    231.9 KB · Views: 345

Stargazer2006

ACCESS: USAP
Senior Member
Joined
Jun 25, 2009
Messages
13,235
Reaction score
454
Amazing photos! Some details I'd never seen before in other photos, for which I'm grateful!

What spoils this fantastic restoration job a little is the use of a modern non-USAAF font for the writings underneath the cockpit (me and my perfectionism... ::) )

Would you, by any chance, have a better (as in frontal) picture showing the "Curtiss Ascender" logo? I would love to use it for my website!
 

borovik

ACCESS: Top Secret
Joined
May 5, 2007
Messages
790
Reaction score
103
SUPERB, Mark B)

There are a couple of colored reconstructions of the magazine "Aero PK Revue", but they also do not have the technical fonts (and of course they fade to the background of "live" Ascender's) ))
 

Attachments

  • XP-55  1st prototype.jpg
    XP-55 1st prototype.jpg
    194.5 KB · Views: 156
  • XP-55   2nd prototype.jpg
    XP-55 2nd prototype.jpg
    191.5 KB · Views: 169

Mark Nankivil

ACCESS: Top Secret
Top Contributor
Senior Member
Joined
Jun 13, 2007
Messages
1,629
Reaction score
512
Here you go Stargazer....

The camera is a Canon 20D. I shot these on a tripod using a trigger and aperture priority. If there were hard shadows in the image, I'd handhold a flash and use it while the shutter is open. Lighting in this hangar was pretty even (though the main display building takes cues from the bat caves of the USAF Museum!).

Enjoy the Day! Mark
 

Attachments

  • zXP-55-CS 42-78846 - 37.jpg
    zXP-55-CS 42-78846 - 37.jpg
    96.7 KB · Views: 115
Top