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
The 212ft-span XB-19 was first flown on June 27, 1941. The 55min flight was made from Clover Field, Santa Monica with Maj Stanley M. Ulmstead at the controls. This photograph may well show the aircraft shortly after taking off for the first time.
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.
Another view of the XB-19 taken a few weeks before the first flight. In addition to the pilot, Maj Stanley Ulmstead, a crew of seven was carried on the maiden flight.
Lt-Col James Taylor and Maj Stanley Ulmstead chatting at Clover Field just before the latter carried out the first flight of the XB-15.
The same aircraft shortly before the first flight.
The repainted XB-19 pictured at Wright Field early in 1942 following acceptance by the Air Corps in October 1941.
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.
The Douglas XB-19 nearing completion at Clover Field early in 1941. The first flight was originally scheduled for May 17 but had to be postponed while problems with engine backfiring, propeller-pitch control and braking were resolved.
What appears to be a painting of a Douglas B-19 on a wall at Seething. First flown on June 27, 1941 as the XB-19, it was redesignated XB-19A and used during the war as a transport.