|A Curtiss-XP-62 on the tarmac|
|First flight||21 July 1943|
|Status||Cancelled 21 September 1943|
|Primary user||United States Army Air Forces|
Relatively unusual objectives of the design, for its time, included superior high-altitude performance, which was to be assisted by a pressurized cockpit, heavier armament than contemporary USAAF fighter aircraft, in the form of four 20 mm autocannons, and higher speeds, at all altitudes, than other contemporary fighters. A key physical feature of the XP-62, in terms of the above objectives, was its relatively large and powerful engine, an 18-cylinder Wright R-3350 Duplex-Cyclone.
The terms of the contract, in accordance with a proposal of 29 April 1941, called for the first flight within fifteen months of the award.
The maximum level flight speed at 27,000 ft (8,230 m) had to be at least 468 mph (753 km/h).
Proposed armament was either eight 20 mm (.79 in) cannons or twelve 0.50 in (12.7 mm) machine guns, mounted in the wings.
Two prototypes were ordered; the first designated XP-62 and the second designated XP-62A.
On 2 August 1941, the specifications were submitted for the XP-62 reducing the maximum speed to 448 mph (721 km/h) with eight 20 mm (.79 in) cannon armament and increasing the loaded weight by 1,537 lb (697 kg).
On 25 May 1942 a contract for 100 P-62 fighters was awarded. However, on 27 July 1942, before production could begin, the contract for the P-62 was terminated (although not, apparently, the XP-62A). The reason given was the effect on deliveries of Curtiss-built P-47 Thunderbolts.
While work on the XP-62A continued, it progressed slowly, owing to its low priority; delays in delivery of the unique pressure-cabin supercharger and engine modifications delayed the first flight until 21 July 1943. Only a limited amount of flight testing was carried out before the XP-62A was canceled on 21 September 1943 and full performance characteristics were not obtained. In early 1944, the XP-62A prototype was scrapped.
Data from Curtiss Aircraft 1907–1947
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