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FTFC'18 WWII Curtiss-Wright XP-55 Ascender

HilldaFlyer

Well-known member
#1
Curtiss-Wright XP-55 Ascender

This should be a good project.

Information gathered about the XP-55 Ascender

In November 1939 the US Army Air Corps issued a proposal for a fighter that would be much more effective than any current fighter. The proposal specifically called for unconventional aircraft designs to produce new designs with an increased top speed, climb rate, maneuverability, armament and pilot visibility. Curtiss-Wright proposed the XP-55 Ascender along with competitor proposals of the Vultee XP-54 and Northrop XP-56.



The XP-55 was originally designed to house the Pratt & Whitney X-1800 engine with a projected horsepower rating between 1800 to 2200, however that engine project was cancelled so the XP-55 settled for an Allison V-1710-95 liquid cooled V12 with 1275 hp. The loss of power contributed to the poor performance that played a hand in the cancellation of the XP-55 production since it did not perform as well as conventional fighters of the day.

The first XP-55 flew on July 19, 1943. During a stall test the plane fell out of control for 16,000 ft, the test pilot safely ejected, but the plane did not survive. The second XP-55 first flew on January 9, 1944. It had increased canard elevator surface to augment the flight performance but all flight tests were restricted to avoid the stall zone. The third and last XP-55 first flew on April 25, 1944. Unlike the previous two, it had four feet wing extensions that greatly improved the aircraft's stall characteristics. Additionally the nose elevator was given a greater amount of travel. Sadly, the third was crashed at an air show in Ohio killing the pilot leaving only the second XP-55 which can be seen on exhibit at the Air Zoo and Kalamazoo Michigan.

A more detailed history can be found at the following links:
Curtiss XP-55 Ascender
The Dayton Air Show
Popular Science August 1945
Virtual Air Museum

Drawings on which I will base my plans.


Popular Science August 1945



Solid Model Memories


World War Wings .com


Static RC Groups.net



Here are a few videos I’ve found



 
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rockyboy

Skill Collector
Mentor
#3
Welcome aboard the challenge!! :)

This one looks like it has enough vertical surface that it might not run into the yaw problems wilsonman was talking about in his WW2 build thread - but that's probably a good thing to take a look at just in case.
 
#4
Welcome aboard the challenge!! :)

This one looks like it has enough vertical surface that it might not run into the yaw problems wilsonman was talking about in his WW2 build thread - but that's probably a good thing to take a look at just in case.
I think this one has sufficient distance between the center of gravity and the vertical stabs.
 

localfiend

I like 3D printers...
Mentor
#5
Welcome aboard the challenge!! :)

This one looks like it has enough vertical surface that it might not run into the yaw problems wilsonman was talking about in his WW2 build thread - but that's probably a good thing to take a look at just in case.
Once I had the Shinden flying well, I incrementally chopped off more and more vertical stab area just to see what would happen. You could remove a lot of it before instability issues crept in.

This plane has the center section as well. You can always start off big and trim stuff down.
 

varg

Build cheap, crash cheap
#6
Between having more vertical stabilizer area and more wing sweep, this will probably be easier to get flying well than the Shinden. This is one of the odd planes on my "I'd like to build that someday" list, very interested to see how it plays out.
 

HilldaFlyer

Well-known member
#7
Thanks for the interest and comments...

I'm tempted to make this with a fixed canard and elevons like the wings I currently fly. That way I can test out the performance and determine if the elevator surface canard is needed.

I can't believe they built this thing with flaps. That would totally nose down when deployed... guess this is why the elevator canard was indispensable.

My intention, right now, is to make each wing 30" long (length of a single foam board). I don't know what scale that will turn our to be, but it will be a start.
 

localfiend

I like 3D printers...
Mentor
#8
Thanks for the interest and comments...

I'm tempted to make this with a fixed canard and elevons like the wings I currently fly. That way I can test out the performance and determine if the elevator surface canard is needed.

I can't believe they built this thing with flaps. That would totally nose down when deployed... guess this is why the elevator canard was indispensable.

My intention, right now, is to make each wing 30" long (length of a single foam board). I don't know what scale that will turn our to be, but it will be a start.
Just a heads up, but the shinden would not hardly fly at all without a functional canard. If you turn it off mid flight, the plane would still fly, but you would't have enough elevator authority to do much more than keep the plane level.
 

HilldaFlyer

Well-known member
#9
Just a heads up, but the shinden would not hardly fly at all without a functional canard. If you turn it off mid flight, the plane would still fly, but you would't have enough elevator authority to do much more than keep the plane level.
Good to know. I wouldn't have guessed. I was going to make the nose completely removable to slide the battery into the nose. Guess I'll make a functional canard and see what I can do with a battery hatch. And thanks!!!
 

LitterBug

Troll Spammer
#10
Awesome! I committed to this airframe as well in the DRAFT thread, but have not created my official build thread or posted in the official thread. Looking forward to seeing your take and progress on the build. Looks to be a challenging build!

Cheers!
LitterBug
 

rockyboy

Skill Collector
Mentor
#11
Awesome! I committed to this airframe as well in the DRAFT thread, but have not created my official build thread or posted in the official thread. Looking forward to seeing your take and progress on the build. Looks to be a challenging build!

Cheers!
LitterBug
Yeah, what's up with that? :confused:

At least start up the build thread with one post before procrastinating for 4 months and then jamming something together at the last minute :p
 

LitterBug

Troll Spammer
#12
Yeah, what's up with that? :confused:

At least start up the build thread with one post before procrastinating for 4 months and then jamming something together at the last minute :p
No problem. :) Here's a link to the link to the link to the build... :cool: http://forum.flitetest.com/showthread.php?36073-2018-Flite-Test-Forum-Challenge-WWII-Design-amp-Build&p=360002&viewfull=1#post360002

Wuz outta Town wif my bud Woodstock. (workin on another "unofficial" WW-II quad build....)
Woodstock.jpg


Cheers!
LitterBug
 

PsyBorg

Wake up! Time to fly!
#14
Just read LB's update on his thread so thought I would pass on what he discovered so it is not over looked.

That is not a canard but in fact the elevator with trim tabs and everything according to the post he made. He has pictures of the real plane in his thread which is how I assume he discovered this most important piece of information.
 

HilldaFlyer

Well-known member
#15
Well guys... Looks like the thread is still alive even though I have not contributed. So guess I'll pick up the activity.

OK - so I’ve been out of town for a bit….


Put 6295 miles on the car traveling to UT to visit step daughters and to MT for a family reunion.


Round Trip.


Lake Erie at Cleveland OH - Sunset


Lake Erie at Cleveland OH - Sunset


Lake Erie at Cleveland OH - Sunset



Stopped for a look at the SACAM in Omaha NE

A car show was starting so most of the aircraft were rolled out of the way and off display.


I’d like someone to build and fly this baby!!!


Jelly bean with wings and a jet engine.


Big pink roadblock in Wyoming.


That’s one big WIDE LOAD! Nobody was allowed to pass… until he pulled off the road.


Good thing I only had to follow him for 5 miles to the UT border… doing 20 MPH!


Interstate 15 in Idaho Falls was closed… so we found a nice cozy place near the airport to Stop. We had a little unplanned entertainment….The Blue Angels Demonstration Team.
Sorry - Photos taken with my cheap Canon PowerShot.


Blue Angels - Idaho Falls, ID


Blue Angels - Idaho Falls, ID


Blue Angels - Idaho Falls, ID


Blue Angels - Idaho Falls, ID


Blue Angels - Idaho Falls, ID


Blue Angels - Idaho Falls, ID


Blue Angels - Idaho Falls, ID


Blue Angels - Idaho Falls, ID

Blue Angels - Idaho Falls, ID


Blue Angels - Idaho Falls, ID


Blue Angels - Idaho Falls, ID

.
Blue Angels - Idaho Falls, ID



Blue Angels - Idaho Falls, ID


Sunset - Nevada Lake, MT


A seldom scene on Lake McDonald, Glacier National Park… mirror calm.


Lake McDonald, Glacier National Park


Travel companions, Annabelle and Wife Anne.


Bowman Lake, Glacier National Park - a place I camped in my younger years.


Junk yard on fire in Arlee MT.


Ground crew was first on the scene.


But they called in the big guns… We got to see some aerial firefighting.



Picking Huckleberries in Seeley Lake MT


We found a really good patch


We picked almost 2 gallons in a couple of hours.




Now - back to the build.


 
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HilldaFlyer

Well-known member
#16
Awesome! I committed to this airframe as well in the DRAFT thread, but have not created my official build thread or posted in the official thread. Looking forward to seeing your take and progress on the build. Looks to be a challenging build!

Cheers!
LitterBug
Excellent! Didn't see your post... so I hope I'm not stepping on toes here. Had a couple of weeks to think about it... now to the drafting table. If you're going to FFE2018, Let's fly together. I'm looking at your build thread to see how you take this on. I think I'm going to do a square clunky fuselage just to get a prototype in the air with a canard and then play with making the fuselage more curvy. Another trick, as I understand, will be to make the canard an actual control surface.
 

HilldaFlyer

Well-known member
#17
Just read LB's update on his thread so thought I would pass on what he discovered so it is not over looked.

That is not a canard but in fact the elevator with trim tabs and everything according to the post he made. He has pictures of the real plane in his thread which is how I assume he discovered this most important piece of information.
Thanks PsyBorg,
I've decided to make the prototype with an elevator control surface canard with a switch to turn it off and on. That way I can tell in flight how useful it is at least for models. I know you already pointed out the critical nature of the elevator canard... but my thought is that if it isn't totally necessary, I think the FT community would find it easier to build without a canard control surface. However, I agree with you that it probably is necessary since it has been demonstrated. We'll see.
 

HilldaFlyer

Well-known member
#18
Here is a bit of info... kind of fun.



This one clearly shows the elevator canard control surface, and it has a lot of motion


 
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