Military Wiki
Role Heavy bomber
Manufacturer Douglas Aircraft
First flight 27 June 1941
Retired Scrapped in 1949
Status Experimental
Primary user United States Army Air Corps
Number built 1

The Douglas XB-19 was the largest bomber aircraft built for the United States Army Air Corps until 1946. It was originally given the designation XBLR-2 (XBLR- denoting Experimental Bomber, Long Range).

Design and development

The XB-19 project was intended to test flight characteristics and design techniques for giant bombers; Douglas Aircraft wanted to cancel the expensive project. Despite advances in technology that made the XB-19 obsolete before it was completed, the Army Air Corps felt that the prototype would be useful for testing. Its construction took so long that competition for the contracts to make the XB-35 and XB-36 occurred two months before its first flight.

The plane flew on June 27, 1941, more than three years after the construction contract was awarded. In 1943 the Wright R-3350 engines were replaced with Allison V-3420-11 V engines. After completion of testing the XB-19 served as a cargo carrier until scrapped at Tucson in 1949.

Surviving artifacts

XB-19A at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base before scrapping.

The new U.S. Air Force had plans to save the B-19 for eventual display, but in 1949 the Air Force did not have a program to save historic aircraft and the Air Force Museum had not been built. So the B-19 was scrapped, but two of its enormous main tires were saved. One was put on display at the Hill Aerospace Museum at Hill Air Force Base in Ogden, Utah and the other has been on display at the National Museum of the United States Air Force in Dayton, Ohio, in the "Early Years" gallery for many years.[1]

Specifications (XB-19A)

General characteristics

  • Crew: 18
  • Length: 132 ft 2 in (40.2 m)
  • Wingspan: 212 ft 0 in (64.6 m)
  • Height: 42 ft 9 in (13.0 m)
  • Wing area: 4,492 ft2 (417 m2)
  • Empty weight: 86000 lb (XB-19) ()
  • Loaded weight: 158,930 lb (72,000 kg)
  • Max. takeoff weight: 164,000 lb (74,400 kg)
  • Powerplant: 4 × Allison V-3420-11 V24 engines, 2,600 hp (1,940 kW) each


  • Maximum speed: 265 mph (230 kn, 426 km/h)
  • Cruise speed: 165 mph (143 kn, 266 km/h)
  • Range: 4,200 mi (3,600 nmi, 6,800 km)
  • Ferry range: 7,750 mi(6,730 nmi, 12,500 km)
  • Service ceiling: 39,000 ft (12,000 m)
  • Rate of climb: 650 ft/min (3.3 m/s)
  • Wing loading: 35 lb/ft2 (170 kg/m2)
  • Power/mass: 0.065 hp/lb (110 W/kg)


  • Guns:
  • Bombs: 18,700 lb (8,480 kg)

See also


  1. Museum placard

External links

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