History of the Douglas 423

In the midst of World War II in mid-1941, the U.S. authorities, anticipating the possibility of the country entering the conflict, particularly if allied with Great Britain, initiated investigations into advanced military capabilities. The U.S. Army Air Corps (USAAC) sought a cutting-edge long-range heavy bomber capable of operating beyond enemy air defenses. Douglas Aircraft responded with its Model 423, but the competition was won by the Consolidated design, leading to the development of the postwar B-36 "Peacemaker."

The Douglas Model 423, featuring four Pratt & Whitney R-4360 Wasp Major engines and advanced specifications, represented a significant contribution. With dimensions of 35.75 meters in length, a wingspan of 63.09 meters, and a height of 14.5 meters, it boasted a maximum take-off weight (MTOW) of approximately 90,000 kg and an impressive range of up to 6,000 miles. Internally, the aircraft accommodated eight crew members, with a distinctive pilot seat placement in a separate bubble canopy compartment at the front. The bomb bay, capable of holding over 11,340 kg of munitions, and six remote-controlled electric turrets with .50 caliber Browning M2 heavy machine guns showcased the Model 423's formidable capabilities.

Despite its promising features, the Model 423 was overshadowed by the success of the Consolidated B-36 program, which entered service in 1949. Unfortunately, the Model 423's first flight took place in August 1946, when World War II was drawing to a close, rendering it too late to make a significant impact on the conflict. The Consolidated B-36 became the chosen successor, and the Model 423 fell by the wayside in the annals of military aviation history.

Douglas 423 Specification

Fundamentals

Years of Service: 1944

Origins: United States

Crew: 8

Manufacturer: Douglas Aircraft - USA

Carrier: United States

Roles

Ground attack (bombing, strafing)

The ability to conduct air strikes against ground targets using (but not limited to) artillery, bombs, rockets, rockets, etc.

X-Plane (development, prototype, tech demo)

Aircraft designed for prototyping, technology demonstration, or research/data collection.

Dimensions and Weight

Length: 117.3 feet (35.75m)

Width/span: 207.0 feet (63.10m)

Height: 50.9 feet (15.50m)

MTOW: 198,008 lbs (89,815 kg)

Performance

Installed: 4 x Pratt & Whitney R-4360 Wasp Major air-cooled radial piston engines, 3,000 hp each.

Weapon

2 x .50 caliber Browning M2 heavy machine guns mounted on the forward dorsal turret.

2 x .50 caliber Browning M2 heavy machine guns in the ventral turret.

2 x 37mm automatic cannons in the stern position.

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