Huff-Daland XHB-1

Last revised July 10, 1999




The Huff-Daland XHB-1 (serial number 26-201) was an enlarged and heavier version of the LB-1 single-engined light bomber. It carried a crew of four, with two in an open cockpit ahead of the wing, one near the tail with twin Lewis guns, and the other using a retractable gun platform that could be lowered below the fuselage. Two Browning machine guns were mounted in the wings and over 4000 bombs could be carried. The XHB-1 first appeared in October of 1926. It was to have been powered by a single 1200 hp engine. Since this engine failed to materialize, a single Packard 2A-2540 engine, rated at 787 hp, was substituted. This was the same engine which powered the LB-1. The XHB-1 was known unofficially as the "Cyclops" by the Huff-Daland company.

However, as early as April of 1926, the Army had decided that single-engined bombers were unsatisfactory, concluding that the more conventional twin-engined configuuration was safer and had the additional advantage of allowing for a gunner and/or bomb-aiming position to be mounted in the nose. Consequently, the XHB-1 was not ordered into production, and only one example was built.

Specification of the Keystone XHB-1: One 787 hp Packard 2A-2540 twelve-cylinder Vee liquid-cooled engine. Maximum speed 109 mph at sea level, service ceiling 15,000 feet, range 700 miles with 2508 pound bombload. Weights: 8070 pounds empty, 16,838 pounds gross. Wingspan 84 feet 7 inches, length 59 feet 7 inches, height 17 feet 2 inches, wing area 1648.5 square feet. Armed with two Lewis machine guns in a flexible mount in an open dorsal position. A retractable gun platform could be lowered from the rear fuselage. Two Browning machine guns were mounted in the wings. A bombload of over 4000 pounds could be carried.

Sources:

  1. United States Military Aircraft Since 1909, Gordon Swanborough and Peter M. Bowers, Smithsonian, 1989.

  2. American Combat Planes, Ray Wagner, Third Edition, Doubleday, 1982.

  3. American Warplanes, Bill Gunston

  4. Jane's Encyclopedia of Aviation

  5. U.S. Army Aircraft, 1908-1946, James C. Fahey