The Huff-Daland XHB-1 Cyclops was the only one of the three entries in the Army Air Corps’ Heavy Bomber sequence to actually be produced, and was a modified and expanded version of the Huff-Daland LB-1. Like many military aircraft the XHB-1 ran into problems because it was being developed at the same time as the engine intended to power it. It had been hoped to use a 1,200hp engine, but when this failed to materialise the same Packard 2A-2540 engine used on the LB-1 had to be installed. As a result the XHB-1 was badly underpowered.
The Army Air Corps were not keen on the idea of single engined bombers. In the 1920s it was expected that the long range bombers would be operating alone over enemy territory, and a second engine was thus seen as essential. The position of the single engine in the nose also caused problems, for this was the normal position of the one gun position and of the bombardier.
The XHB-1 was armed with six 0.30in machine guns. Four of these were rear-firing – two in a standard rear-gunners position and two on a platform that could be lowered below the aircraft when needed. The remaining two guns were fixed forward firing guns installed in the wings. The single XHB-1 to be produced was given a 1926 serial number. Huff-Daland had no more luck with their design for the XHB-3 - a twin-engined monoplane that was rejected because the Army Air Corps preferred biplanes.
Engine: Packard 2A-2540
Span: 84ft 7in
Length: 59ft 7in
Height: 17ft 2in
Gross Weight: 16,834lb
Maximum Speed: 109mph at sea level
Guns: Six 0.30in calibre machine guns
Bomb load: 4,000lb