В 1935 году в авиакорпусе Армии США приступили к изучению вопроса о возможности разработки настоящего стратегического бомбардировщика. Работы велись под кодовым названием "Project D". Одним из результатов работы стал этот Douglas XB-19, выполнивший первый полет в 1941 году.
The mammoth 212 feet wingspan sole Douglas XB-19, 38-741, holds a crowd of Douglas workers enthralled as it taxies away from its Santa Monica birthplace to depart for the nearby US Army Air Corps base at March Field on its 27 June 1941 first flight. Initiated at the US Army's behest in early 1935, the XB-19 was never intended to enter production; rather it was always destined to serve as a test bed to see just how far existing technology could be pushed. The biggest problem was lack of money, causing the planned debut of the XB-19 to slip by more than three years. Powered by four 2.000hp Wright R-3350-5s, the bomber's top level speed was 224mph at 15,700 feet, while the giant cruised at 135mph. These were not particularly impressive figures for 1941, but the 7,300 mile range with a 6.000lb bombload surely was.
XB-19 38-471 taking off on its first flight. 27th June 1941. Largest aircraft of its time, it had 8-ft.-dia. mainwheels
Overall view of the Douglas XB-19, 38-471, in its original form, powered by 2,000-h.p. Wright Cyclone R-3350-5 radial engines. Maximum all-up weight was 162,000 lb.
In 1943 the aircraft was re-engined with 2,600-h.p. Allison V-3240-11 s, becoming the XB-19A. Top speed was then 265 m.p.h.