A Bell XP-77 in flight.

The Bell XP-77 was an experimental single seat fighter bomber aircraft designed to make minimal demand on the so-called 'strategic' light alloys.


Multiview with cross sections[1]

Unlike comparable British, French and Italian aircraft, the XP-77 used a supercharged Ranger V-770-7 engine offering only 500 hp (373 Kw). The original Tri-4 proposal of October 1941 was expected to reach 410 mph at 27,000 ft, at a weight of 2,700 lb (1,225 kg), with an armament of one or two 20 mm cannon and two 12.7 mm machine guns, the latter being equipped with 200 rounds each.[2] Procurement of six examples of the D-6 variant was authorized in August 1942, with an unsupercharged engine and provision for a 325 lb (147 kg) drop load. The first XP-77 flew in April 1944, and the apparent development problems, coupled with the ready supply of 'strategic' materials, led to the program being cancelled after construction of only two prototypes.[3] Maximum speed was 330 mph (531 km/h) at 4,000 ft (1,220 m) and 328 mph (528 km/h) at 12,600 ft (3,840 m). Range was 550 miles (885 km) at 274 mph (441 km/h) and initial climb was 3,600 ft per min. Empty weight was 2,855 lbs (1,295 kg) and max loaded weight was 4,028 lb (1,827 kg). Wingspan was 27 ft 6 in (8.38 m), length 22 ft 10 1/2 in (6.97 m) and height 8 ft 2 1/4 in.[4]


  1. http://smm.solidmodelmemories.net/Gallery/displayimage.php?pid=3482
  2. 0'Leary, Michael. USAAF Fighters of World War Two in Action. Sterling Publishing Limited
  3. Take Off Magazine Aircraft Reference file 602.
  4. Green, William and Gordon Swanborough. Complete Book of Fighters. Salamander Books. 2001. ISBN 1-84065-269-1 Page 58

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