Started by Ollie, December 10, 2003, 12:13:51 PM

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Found this pic in the JMN stronghold, thought you'd be interested in seeing it, eh!

What are those monsters on the aft deck?


I think it was a 100 000Lbs aircraft from Douglas, but we need a real naval expert for that...



I'd really hesitate to say, but an early take on the A3D "Skywarrior" seems likely.

These photos give a few more views:

"Reality is the leading cause of stress amongst those in touch with it."
--Jane Wagner and Lily Tomlin


The monsters in the aft deck are the CVA58 "raison d'être" (sorry for my poor french). They are heavy nuclear bombers. CVA58 was designed to give the USN nuclear bombing capability.
I think they are a Douglas early concept that later led to the Skywarrior but other manufacturers send their submissions to the USN in those days. Tomorrow I'll post more information.


Quote"raison d'être" (sorry for my poor french)

That's excellent French!!  Can't wait to see what info you have on it!

:lol:  ;)  


I had a chance to dig a bit.  They are notional 100,000 lb nuclear bombers that the Navy had jsut put out a spec. on.  Douglas bid the A3D at a bit over 2/3's that amount, Curtiss bid one that just weighed that, and North American no-bid because they didn't think it could be done under that weight at the time.
"Reality is the leading cause of stress amongst those in touch with it."
--Jane Wagner and Lily Tomlin


I have seen the pics in the book US Aircraft Carriers. Norman Friedman. Naval Institute Press. 1983. ISBN 0-87021-739-9
The text under this pics is "This seakeeping model under test in a wave making tank at the David Taylor Model Basin, shows an early version of the United States design, without the big sponsons ultimately adopted. The aircraft are F7U Cutlass and a heavy jet attack bomber"
Other pictures in this book show CVB-X with AJ-1 and CVA58 with Lockheed Neptune on the flight deck.

The information I have found about US Navy Nuclear Bomber Program is the following:

Rear Admiral H.B.  Sallada, chief of BuAer proposed to the CNO on 28 December 1945 that "serious consideration...immediately given to the development of an additional type of carrier (additional to C-2 fleet aircraft carrier class of 39600 ton standard (1945), the follow on to the Midway class that was finally cancelled)...that will accommodate aircraft of about 100,000 lbs with a 2000 mile radius.
Sallada envisaged strategic bombing missions from the 39600-tonner with 45000 lb, 1000 nm attack bomber.
Since no characteristics for the new bomber existed, preliminary design based its estimates on the largest Navy bomber, the land-based P2V Neptune patrol bomber (60000 pounds, 100 feet wing span).
BuAer ADR-42 data: Take off weight 100.000 pound (45000 Kg). 90 feet (27 m) long and a wing span of 116 feet (34.8 m) Combat radius 2000 nm at 500 knots.

Requisite studies were ordered on 7 February 1946.

1.   Aircraft Carrier

Initial design was the CVB-X heavy attack (nuclear) carrier. (69200 ton standard-82000 o trial. 1190 feet length and a beam of 130 feet.

CVB-X project was replaced by USS United States project about 1947 because with no provision for hangar, it was a rather grotesque  single-purpose complement to the fleet carrier rather than an alternative.

USS United States was laid down on 18 April 1949 but construction was halted on 23 April the same year.

2.   Nuclear bomber

Early concepts in 1947 wanted a high performance expendable bomber with a 1500 nm combat radius. Crew will be recovered by submarine after finishing its mission.

On 13 August 1945 the Navy opened up a design competition for an attack aircraft capable of carriying a 10000 pound payload. North American won the competition with the NA-146 (XAJ-1 Savage). Model 566 was Douglas proposal.

Savage was not the ADR-42 the Navy wanted. It was lighter and considered as an interim type. In US Aircraft Carriers. Norman Friedman explains that it is no longer clear the Model 566 was conceived from the beginning as a nuclear bomber. It certainly corresponded to the low end of the scale envisaged by Admiral Sallada in December 1945. However, the Navy did consider a variety of large twin-engine aircraft for carrier use during WW2; in November 1944 it test-flew a PBJ-1H Mitchell.

The USN wanted nuclear weapons delivery capability and in 1946, The President approved the modification of  the Midway class to permit the operation of AJ Savages carriying atomic bombs (Work was completed  from 1947 to 1948). At this time  the Savage had just been ordered in prototype form.

As an interim type before the Savage arrival (production AJ-1 first flight was in May 1949), 12 Lockheed P2V-3C (C for Carrier) were ordered. The bombers would be initially deployed in the Midway Class.

XVA(H1) competition contemplated a successor to the AJ-1 Savage because this aircraft was unable to penetrate Soviet defences.
USN Preliminary Type Specification OS-111. 23 December 1947.
100,000 lb gross weight and capable of carriying a 12,000 lb Fat Man weapon. Designed for operations from a 6A Class carrier ( USS United States)
On November 18, 1948, Douglas submitted its Model 593. On December 3, 1948 competitive bids were submitted by Consolidated, Curtiss, Fairchild, Martin and Republic. Final Phase I contracts were awarded by Curtiss and Douglas. At the end, with the cancellation of CVA-58, Model 593 was found better suited for operations from Midway class than the heavier Curtiss design. In 1949, design work for the new Forrestal class begun and the 70.000 pound A3D Skywarrior first operational assignement was in 1956 onboard CVA-59 USS Forrestal.

·   US Aircraft Carriers. Norman Friedman. Naval Institute Press. ISBN 0-87021-739-9 (I strongly recommend this book to Aircraft Carrier lovers)
·   Naval Fighters 22. North American AJ-1 Savage by Steve Ginter
·   Aerograph 5. Douglas A-3 Skywarrior by René Francillon with Edward Heinemann. (Comprehensive development coverage and a  lot of unbuilt projects on this book)
·   A-3 Skywarrior in Action by Jim Sullivan

So...what is the identity of the aircraft in the pic?. To tell the truth I don't know. Maybe it is only a conceptual model not connected to any real design. This is what I think.  I'm sure it is not an early Douglas 593, might be it is the Curtiss contender?. I have been researching all my Saturday afternoon and this is all I  have....does anybody else had found more info? :ar:


I'd say it's most likely a notional design rather than any real company's design.  Still, you never know....
"Reality is the leading cause of stress amongst those in touch with it."
--Jane Wagner and Lily Tomlin


Had early Skywarrior designs wingroot engine configuration?