Convair XB-53

Last revised June 17, 2000

The Convair XB-53 was a stillborn project for a tactical jet bomber that originated back in 1945. It was to be powered by three General Electric J35 turbojet engines of 4000 lb.s.t. buried in the fuselage and fed by two lateral air intakes. The wings were swept forward at an angle of 30 degrees, with an 8-degree dihedral. Convair used swept-forward wartime data captured from Germany as the basis for the design. The wing was mounted on the far aft portion of the fuselage and also served as the horizontal stabilizer. There was a conventional vertical stablizer and rudder, but changes in pitch and roll were accomplished with wing-mounted control surfaces. The elevators were on the outboard wing edges, whereas the ailerons were outboard. The wingtips wee also designed as variable-incidence control surfaces.

Up to 12,000 pounds of bombs could be carried, and 40 HVAR rockets could be carried on underwing pylons. Maximum speed was projected to be 580 mph, with a 2000 mile maxium range. However, USAAF support of the XA-44 did not last long. In December of 1946, the design was converted into a light bomber and the designation was changed to XB-53. However, the XB-53 project was cancelled before anything could be built.


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