Consolidated Y1P-25

Last revised June 10, 1999




When Lockheed's holding company, the Detroit Aircraft Corporation, went into receivership in 1931, they were unable to fulfill their contract to manufacture YP-24 fighters for the USAAC. In addition, Detroit Aircraft's chief engineer Robert J. Woods was now out of a job. However, Woods was soon recruited by the Consolidated Aircraft Corporation of Buffalo, New York.

Robert Woods continued to work on his YP-24 design when he went over to Consolidated. Despite the failure of the Detroit company, the USAAC was still interested in the YP-24 design. The Army ordered a single prototype of Wood's basic design from Consolidated under the designation Y1P-25. The serial number was 32-321. At first glance, Consolidated's Y1P-25 looked much the same as did the Detroit YP-24. It was a two-seat, low wing monoplane with fully-retractable main landing gear. However, there were significant differences. The Y1P-25 had an all-metal wing in place of the wood-frame, plywood-covered wing of the YP-24. In addition, the tail of the Y1P-25 was larger, and metal was substituted for the fabric covering on the tail control surfaces. The engine was a 600 hp Curtiss V-1570-27 Conqueror, 12-cylinder liquid-cooled engine with turbosupercharger mounted on the port side (the YP-24 had no supercharger). The armament was two fixed, forward-firing machine guns mounted in the upper fuselage, plus one flexible machine gun operated by the gunner in the rear cockpit.

A second prototype of the basic Consolidated design was built as a ground attack aircraft. Designated Y1A-11, the aircraft differed from the Y1P-25 primarily in having a Conqueror engine without a supercharger. In addition, the Y1A-11 had two more guns in the nose and racks for up to 400 pounds of bombs. The serial number of the Y1A-11 was 32-322.

The Y1P-25 was delivered to the Army on December 9, 1932. First tests were very encouraging. Thanks to the turbosupercharger, the Y1P-25 could achieve 247 mph at 15,000 feet in spite of 700 lbs more weight as compared to the YP-24. The maximum speed was 205 mph at sea level. The Y1P-25 could climb to 10,000 feet in 6.7 minutes. Weights were 3887 lbs empty, 5110 lbs gross.

The flight tests with the Y1P-25 and its Y1A-11 attack counterpart went quite well. However, the Y1P-25 crashed on January 13, 1933, and was so badly damaged that it was a writeoff. The Y1A-11 crashed a week later.

In spite of the two crashes, the USAAC did not feel that there was any intrinsic flaw in the basic design, and later that month a contract for four production examples was issued under the designation P-30 (Ser Nos 33-204/207). The P-30 differed from the Y1P-25 by having a 675 hp Curtiss V-1570-57 with twin-blade constant-speed prop, simplified undercarriage, and revised cockpit canopy. Four similar A-11s (33-308/311) were also ordered with unsupercharged V-1570-59 engines.

Plans for the construction of two Y1P-25s with Pratt and Whitney radial engines which were allocated the designations YP-27 and YP-28 did not materialize.

Sources:

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

  2. The American Fighter, Enzo Angellucci and Peter Bowers, Orion Books, 1987.

  3. General Dynamics Aircraft and Their Predecessors, John Wegg, Naval Institute Press, 1990.