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XB-15 and B-17 Pusher versions

Skybolt

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Sometimes projects make themselves discovered in very unlikely places. Last Friday I was in Rome at the Italian Air Force historical archives doing research for my book. On the same table there was my friend Paolo Miana looking for infos on the Italian giant bombers of late 20s -early 30s (Caproni, FIAT, Breda... Hesham, maybe we'll know something on the CC3000 one day or another.. ;) ) . He was perusing a pile of old technical reports when he passed me one about a visit made by IAF engineers at Langley in 1937. And there it was, a draught of a Boeing bomber, a pusher version of the B-17. Langley was testing a big model in the tunnel and they gave the Italians the drawing. I've already looked in the NACA online collection of reports to no avail till now. I think this an absolute novelty. ;D Naturally no more data, except that the engines were the same of the first iterations of the B-17 project. Could someone on the forum with access to Boeing archives take a look there ? ???
 

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lark

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A realy great find Skybolt!

Do I see an other Guru rising :)

Concept made me think of a very early model 299 design.
General wing shape is still close to the XB-15 wile fuselage
shows already model 299 lines.
 

Antonio

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Thanks for sharing, Skybolt. It is a great finding!
Lark, please, take a look at "P-51 Mustang: Development of the Long-Range Escort Fighter" page 14: "the failed in-line engine program". Reading that, a buried engine B-17 study makes a lot of sense ;)

he engines were the same of the first iterations of the B-17 project

That engines were Allison V-1710? Were early Model 299 iterations planned with V-1710 instead of Pratt & Whitney R-1690-E Hornet?

It's amazing that US manufactures shared their ultimate technology research with the Axis nations (there was a lot of sells to Japan including items such DC-4 or V-166). They were in a desesperate economical situation but weren't Italy or Japan considered as a potential threat in 1937?
 

lark

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I did read it Pome. but to my chagrin only the initial
XB-16 (push/pull mixed) is mentioned.
Several Boeing designation list give no further info
in the timeframe.
 

Jemiba

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"..but weren't Italy or Japan considered as a potential threat in 1937?"

Russia was seen as a potential enemy to Germany, too. Some types were given away
for just to earn some money, others, because they weren't regarded as interesting,
for Germany itself . And some years ago, in an article series in the german magazine
"Der Spiegel", it was said, that this "technology transfer", as it would be called
nowadays, should show the superiority of the german technology to the russians !
I can imagine, that other countries played the same game ! ;D
 

Skybolt

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Well, Italy started a discussion with Boeing to buy both the B-17 and a little series of Stratoliners, plus the rights to license-build a larger series (the intended builder was Breda). This in 1938. A little earlier, in 1937, there was another extended bargain with Consolidated for a four-engine transatlantic seaplane (not one actually built). Breda was the intended builder of this project too, and the starter was LATI (Linee Aeree Transatlantiche Italiane), the Italian Transatlantic Airlines. another note, in 1937 Italy wasn't viewed as an "enemy" by the US. Even in 1938 at Munich Italy was viewed as a moderating force. Things started to turn bad only in 1939, with the annexation of Boemia and Morabia and the Italian invasion of Albania.
 

archipeppe

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Skybolt said:
Well, Italy started a discussion with Boeing to buy both the B-17 and a little series of Stratoliners, plus the rights to license-build a larger series (the intended builder was Breda). This in 1938. A little earlier, in 1937, there was another extended bargain with Consolidated for a four-engine transatlantic seaplane (not one actually built). Breda was the intended builder of this project too, and the starter was LATI (Linee Aeree Transatlantiche Italiane), the Italian Transatlantic Airlines. another note, in 1937 Italy wasn't viewed as an "enemy" by the US. Even in 1938 at Munich Italy was viewed as a moderating force. Things started to turn bad only in 1939, with the annexation of Boemia and Morabia and the Italian invasion of Albania.

Furthermore, we can add that Italy discarded the proposal to license-build the B17C, and the Stratoliner as well, turning out to the winner of the "Heavy Bomber Contest" the Piaggio P108B, and subsequentely its civil counterpart the P108C.

The P108 family it is anyway OT because they were actually built and used (even in small series) during the WWII.
Interestingly the transatlantic seaplane project become both the outstanding CANT Z511 and the never-built Piaggio P127 but any project come out by Breda....
 

red admiral

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Well the eventual Breda product was the BZ.308
 

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Skybolt

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Yep, a distant derivative of the Z511, both from Filippo Zappata.
 
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joncarrfarrelly

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There is a chronology problem, if the wind tunnel test was being observed in 1937 it couldn't have been a test of an early design for the B-17 as the Model 299 took to the skies for the first time on July 28, 1935. Preliminary design work had started on June 18, 1934 and airframe construction on August 16.

I think it is more likely that the model may have been related to the heavy bomber program that eventually resulted in the B-29, by way of designs that started out as reworked B-17 and B-15 concepts.

I've attached a couple of pages of early Model 299 sketches that were published in the book 'Flying Fortress: The Story of the Boeing Bomber' by Thomas Collison, Scribner's 1943.

Speaking of Allison Boeings, I've included a 3-view of the Model 298 from 1934.

And just for fun the Model 299J.

Cheers, Jon
 

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archipeppe

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red admiral said:
Well the eventual Breda product was the BZ.308

Yep, but the only difference is that BZ 308 was not a seaplane (even if it had some connection with the previous CANT Z 511).
Anyway I do really love the BZ 308 the "Italian Constellation", it represented (for me) the hightest point of Italian aeronautical design skills of the '40s.

Too bad that it was realized only the prototype, used for a while as "Italian Air Force One".
 

Skybolt

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Jon, thanx! Actually the reports says that it was and advanced bomber project based on the B-17 design.
Archipeppe: answering you would take me off-topic, and I'm the Moderator, so I have to be a good example of behaviour. ;D I'll start a new topic. :p
 

frank

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A minor correction, I think. The DC-4 wasn't sold to Japan, but the DC-4E. 2 entirely different designs.



pometablava said:
Thanks for sharing, Skybolt. It is a great finding!
Lark, please, take a look at "P-51 Mustang: Development of the Long-Range Escort Fighter" page 14: "the failed in-line engine program". Reading that, a buried engine B-17 study makes a lot of sense ;)

he engines were the same of the first iterations of the B-17 project

That engines were Allison V-1710? Were early Model 299 iterations planned with V-1710 instead of Pratt & Whitney R-1690-E Hornet?

It's amazing that US manufactures shared their ultimate technology research with the Axis nations (there was a lot of sells to Japan including items such DC-4 or V-166). They were in a desesperate economical situation but weren't Italy or Japan considered as a potential threat in 1937?
 

Antonio

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Thanks Frank and sorry for the mistake. You're right I was refering to original DC-4E (for experimental) design,

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Douglas_DC-4E
 

Skybolt

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Just a further note on the Italy-USA exchanges in the '30s. In 1934 FIAT bought the license for the Hornet (the engine of the first B-17s...). They intended to build the engine as A.59. FIAT had a lot of problems building its version (metallurgy was less advanced in Italy....) and at the end did a very small series, which was used by the G-18, the APR-2 and the prototype of the CR-40bis. The A.59, designated as version "C", of the CAD PL-3 used in the London-Melbourne race was actually an original uprated Hornet built by P&W.
 

archipeppe

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Skybolt said:
Archipeppe: answering you would take me off-topic, and I'm the Moderator, so I have to be a good example of behaviour. ;D I'll start a new topic. :p

Emh.....where??? ::)
 

Skybolt

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Calma e gesso... (sorry for non Italian speaking members...) ;D
 

archipeppe

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Skybolt said:
Calma e gesso... (sorry for non Italian speaking members...) ;D

OK compare...... ;) (sorry again for non Italian speaking members ;D )
 

Antonio

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Wings of Fame Volume 6
The configuration of the new bomber (Model 299) changed little from the initial proposals, although liquid-cooled engines and a twin-engine layout were considered at one time
 

Skybolt

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New info: during the protracted LATI - Boeing Model 307 bargaining (it lsted until early 1940), Italian negotiators were introduced to a pusher version of the liner.
 

archipeppe

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Skybolt said:
New info: during the protracted LATI - Boeing Model 307 bargaining (it lsted until early 1940), Italian negotiators were introduced to a pusher version of the liner.

This sounds really new to me.
First I supposed that negozation about Model 307 was over by 1939 (considering the upcoming Piaggio P-108C), and I didn't know about a pusher version of Model 307.
 
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joncarrfarrelly

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Sounds like a trip to the Boeing Archives in Bellevue, WA is in order.
I wonder if the pushers were to use one of the buried engine designs then under development.

Jon
 

Skybolt

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Jon, probably. As for the negotiations, the P-108C was an inferior "ersatz" and not the primary motivations for not going after something like the Stratoliner. LATI wanted pressurization from the start, which the P-108C could offer only as an afterthought. The real Italian Stratoliner was a different project, the P-127. The P-127 was the answer to a mid-1940 LATI request to the Minister of Aeronautics AFTER the Boeing negotiations fell through: see here http://www.secretprojects.co.uk/forum/index.php/topic,656.msg4950.html#msg4950. Yes, I like quoting myself... ;D
If you think that the P-127 is a sort of mini EF-100, I agree. That shape was very zeitgeist.
 

lark

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Ever since I saw the the 3-view drawing of the Boeing bomber
found by Skybolt , I was pondering why this design had such
a long chord at the wing-fuselage joint and a fairly high tapper
to the wingtip.
Thus I compared a lot of planviews in the Boeing bombers evolution
up to the early designs for the later B-29.

Therefore ,with the possibility to be decleared mad , I think that this design
is not an initial XB-17 design but given the year an
unknown direct development of the XB-15.

Now you may shoot...
 

Skybolt

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Think you are right... ;D the Italians in Langley had only a very little time to see the model, and clearly they didn't received the complete technical document. So they inferred that was a derivative of the B-17. I'll be in Rome in the first day of January, so I'll take a more deep look.
 
J

joncarrfarrelly

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lark said:
Ever since I saw the the 3-view drawing of the Boeing bomber
found by Skybolt , I was pondering why this design had such
a long chord at the wing-fuselage joint and a fairly high tapper
to the wingtip.
Thus I compared a lot of planviews in the Boeing bombers evolution
up to the early designs for the later B-29.

Therefore ,with the possibility to be decleared mad , I think that this design
is not an initial XB-17 design but given the year an
unknown direct development of the XB-15.

Now you may shoot...

I agree, especially seeing as that's what I said back on November 28.

"I think it is more likely that the model may have been related to the heavy bomber program that eventually resulted in the B-29, by way of designs that started out as reworked B-17 and B-15 concepts."

Jon
 

hesham

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Hi,

http://ntrs.nasa.gov/archive/nasa/casi.ntrs.nasa.gov/19930093006_1993093006.pdf
 

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archipeppe

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Interesting, it really looks like the Piaggio P 50-I Bomber (except that the Piaggio has push-pull configuration).
 

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Apophenia

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Most likely the XB-15-esque model mentioned by Skylark.

"... a Boeing bomber, a pusher version of the B-17. Langley was testing a big model in the tunnel ..."

http://www.secretprojects.co.uk/forum/index.php/topic,3006.0/ [See 3-view]
 

Tzoli

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How is that this configuration not adopted? Does the pusher configuration lack the power to propel the bomber? Or just the US did not wanted a more radical aircraft design?
 

Stargazer2006

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Stargazer2006

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Just realized we already had a topic on the same project:

http://www.secretprojects.co.uk/forum/index.php/topic,5848.0

Could a mod merge the two?

Meanwhile, following the suggestion that was made to me in PM, here's what a pusher B-15 could have looked like.
 

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lark

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Thanks Star.. a welcome addition to the 3-view posted by Sky...
at the start of this thread.
 

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