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Douglas XB-19


Douglas XB-19

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 Forces until 1946. It was originally given the designation XBLR-2 (XBLR- denoting Experimental Bomber, Long Range).


  • Design and development 1
  • Surviving artifacts 2
  • Specifications (XB-19A) 3
  • See also 4
  • References 5
  • External links 6

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 27 June 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 yet 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


  • Guns:
  • Bombs: 18,700 lb (8,480 kg) internal; maximum bomb load of 37,100 lb including external racks

See also

Aircraft of comparable role, configuration and era
Related lists


  1. ^ Museum placard

External links

  • Encyclopedia of American aircraft
  • USAF Museum description of B-19
  • USAF Museum description of B-19A
  • Uncle Sam Builds Europe and Back Warplane, October 1940, Popular Science
  • "The World's Biggest Bomber" Popular Mechanics, December 1940
  • "Man-O'-War With Wings" Popular Mechanics, July 1941
  • , September 1941Popular Mechanics"Monster Warbird B-19 Tries Out Its Wings"
  • "The Douglas B-19", Flight, 1941
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