Beechcraft XA-38 Grizzly

The Beechcraft XA-38 Grizzly was a United States ground attack aircraft, fitted with a forward-firing 75 mm cannon to attack heavily armored targets. The first prototype flew on 7 May 1944 but after testing it became obvious it would not be ready for the projected invasion of Japan, and furthermore it used engines required by the Boeing B-29 Superfortress — which had priority - and so it was canceled after two prototypes had been completed.


Beechcraft XA-38 Grizzly
Class Aircraft
Type Attack
Manufacturer Beechcraft
Origin United States of America
Country Name Origin Year
United States of America 1944
ManufacturerName Production From Production To Quantity
Beechcraft 2 View

The United States Army Air Forces awarded the Beech Aircraft Corporation a contract in December 1942 for two prototypes for their Model 28 "Destroyer". The requirement was for a powerful ground attack aircraft to replace the Douglas A-20 Havoc, with the ability to hit "hardened" targets like tanks and bunkers. This capability was achieved through a 75 mm cannon with 20 rounds, mounted in a fixed position on the nose as well as two .50 cal (12.7 mm) M2 Browning machine guns firing forward. Defensive armament consisted of remotely controlled ventral and dorsal turrets, each armed with twin .50 cal (12.7 mm) machine guns. There were to be two crew members, a pilot and an observer/gunner in the rear cabin, using periscope sights to aim the guns.

Role Heavy attack
Manufacturer Beechcraft
First flight 7 May 1944
Status Canceled
Primary user U.S. Army Air Forces
Number built Two


General characteristics

  • Crew: 2
  • Length: 51 ft 9 in (15.77 m)
  • Wingspan: 67 ft 4 in (20.52 m)
  • Height: 15 ft 6 in (4.72 m)
  • Wing area: 626 ft² (58.15 m²)
  • Empty weight: 22,480 lb (10,197 kg)
  • Max. takeoff weight: 35,265 lb (15,996 kg)
  • Powerplant: 2 × Wright R-3350-43 air-cooled radial engine, 2,300 hp (1,716 kW) each

Performance

  • Maximum speed: 370 mph (322 knots, 595 km/h) at 17,000 ft (5,180 m)
  • Range: 1,625 miles (1,413 nmi, 2,615 km)
  • Service ceiling: 29,000 ft (8,840 m)
  • Rate of climb: 2,600 ft/min (13.2 m/s)

Armament

  • Guns:
    1 × T15E1 75 mm cannon (20 rounds)
    6 × 50 caliber (12.7 mm) M2 Browning machine guns (2 forward-facing, 2 in ventral turret, 2 in dorsal turret)

End notes