Fletcher FBT-2

Summary

FBT-2
Role Trainer
Manufacturer Fletcher Aviation
Designer Wendell Fletcher
First flight 1941
Primary user United States Army Air Forces
Number built 1 (and 10 airframes converted to glide bombs)
Variants Fletcher BG-2

The Fletcher FBT-2 was a military trainer aircraft built in the United States in the early 1940s. Although it was never entered production as a trainer, it was ordered in small numbers as a target drone but when that was cancelled played a small part in the development of guided bombs.

Design and development

The FBT-2 was a low-wing cantilever monoplane with fixed tailwheel undercarriage which seated the pilot and instructor in tandem in an enclosed cockpit. Construction throughout was of plywood, and the wings were interchangeable, as were the tail panels.[1]

Operational history

A single prototype was evaluated for military use, but generated no interest. However, the USAAF ordered the type as a radio-controlled target drone under the designation XPQ-11. The prototype FBT-2 was modified for use as a drone controller as the YCQ-1A. Two batches of 50 drones were ordered; however before any were delivered, the type was cancelled in favor of the PQ-8 Cadet, only the single prototype XPQ-11 being completed.[2] The Army then ordered the ten PQ-11s under construction to be completed as XBG-1 glide bombs, the engine being removed and replaced with a 2,000-pound (910 kg) bomb.[3] Testing was conducted, but the type failed to enter operational service.[4]

Variants

BG-1 at Muroc Army Air Field, 1942.
  • FBT-2 - basic trainer with Wright R-760 engine and tailwheel undercarriage (1 built)
    • CQ-1 - drone controller with tricycle undercarriage (1 converted from FBT-2)
  • PQ-11 - aerial target with tricycle undercarriage and Pratt & Whitney R-985 engine (contract cancelled before aircraft completed)
    • BG-1 - glide bomb with 2,000-pound (910 kg) warhead (10 built from unfinished PQ-11s)

Operators

 United States

Specifications (FBT-2)

Data from Taylor[5]

General characteristics

Performance

  • Maximum speed: 175 mph (282 km/h, 152 kn)
  • Range: 540 mi (870 km, 470 nmi)
  • Service ceiling: 19,000 ft (5,800 m)

Armament

  • None in FBT-2 or PQ-11
  • XBG-1: 2,000-pound (910 kg) warhead.

See also

Aircraft of comparable role, configuration, and era

Related lists

References

Citations

  1. ^ Jane's 1956, p.280.
  2. ^ Parsch 2012
  3. ^ American Aviation Historical Society. AAHS Journal, Volume 53 (2008), p.129.
  4. ^ Parsch 2009
  5. ^ Taylor 1989, p.392.

Bibliography

  • Bridgman, Leonard (1956). Jane's All the World's Aircraft 1956-1957. London: Sampson Low, Marston & Company. ASIN B002A8AFD2.
  • Parsch, Andreas (25 June 2009). "BG Series (BG-1 through BG-3)". Directory of U.S. Military Rockets and Missiles, Appendix 1: Early Missiles and Drones. Designation-Systems. Retrieved 2017-12-14.
  • Parsch, Andreas (7 February 2012). "PQ Series (PQ-8 through PQ-15)". Directory of U.S. Military Rockets and Missiles, Appendix 1: Early Missiles and Drones. Designation-Systems. Retrieved 2017-12-14.
  • Taylor, Michael J. H. (1989). Jane's Encyclopedia of Aviation. New York: Portland House. ISBN 978-0517691861.