Consolidated XBY-1 Fleetster

The Consolidated XBY-1 Fleetster was a single example of a Naval bomber based on the Model 17 Fleetster civil transport, and was the first Consolidated aircraft to have all metal wings.

The Model 17 Fleetster was a high winged monoplane, with a metal monocoque fuselage and wooden wings. It could carry six passengers in a cabin located below and behind the wings, and a crew of two in an enclosed cockpit at the front of the wings. The USAAC ordered four Fleetsters for use as VIP transports - one Y1C-11 and three Y1C-22s, but these were essentially the same as the civilian version.

The Navy's Model 18 was a dedicated military aircraft. It had a similar cockpit to the Model 17, but the passenger cabin was replaced with the internal bomb bay capable of carrying a 1,000lb bomb. The bomb bay door was a curved panel that rotated upwards and to the left to open the bomb bay. The two man enclosed cockpit remained in its original place at the front of the wings, with the top of the cockpit between the wings.

The Model 18 had new metal wings with a stressed skin and a wider span of 50ft. The wings contained flotation bags, while the leading edge contained the integral fuel tank, the first time this had been done in a metal wing. The Model 18 was powered by a 600hp Wright R-1820-78 Cyclone engine.

The US Navy ordered one aircraft, which was built in 1932 as the XBY-1 (BuA-8921). This was delivered to NAS Anacostia for trials on 26 September 1932, but after accumulating 38hr 30min of air time in 50 flights it was badly damaged when the undercarriage collapsed during a landing at NAS Norfolk on 13 April 1933. No further orders were placed, although Consolidated did produce a second fuselage for static testing.

Engine: Wright R-1820-78 Cyclone
Power: 600hp
Crew: 2
Bomb load: 1,000lb internally

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How to cite this article: Rickard, J (25 August 2017), Consolidated XBY-1 Fleetster, http://www.historyofwar.org/articles/weapons_consolidated_XBY-1_Fleetster.html

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