No. 13084. Curtiss CW-20B-1 XC-46B Commando (43-46953 c/n 24) US Army Air Forces
Aeroplane Photo Supply (APS) Photo No. 3579

Curtiss CW-20B-1 XC-46B Commando

03/15/2017. Remarks by Johan Visschedijk: "As stated on the prototype page, the Curtiss division at St. Louis, Missouri, built only twelve C-46As, these comprised two C-46A-1-CS (s/n 43-46953, 43-46954 c/n 24, 25) and ten C-46A-60-CS (s/n 42-47305 to 42-47314, c/n 376 to 385). The very first was completed as the sole XC-46B in January 1944, and the aircraft featured two major changes.

First, the nose section was redesigned to have the streamlined windshield replaced by a stepped version, the latter being the standard design used on contemporary bomber and transport designs. However, flight tests proved the stepped windshield had no significant advantage compared to the original design. The second major design change was the replacement of the 2,000 hp Pratt & Whitney R-2800-51 Double Wasp engines by 2,100 hp R-2800-34W water-injected engines. The 100 hp advantage primarily intended to improve takeoff performance with larger loads.

The performance of the XB-46B was basically the same as the C-46A and the design changes were not adopted for production aircraft. However, the stepped windshield was incorporated into the C-46E design but only seventeen aircraft were completed, also at the St. Louis plant. Water-injected R-2800s were to power 300 C-46G-1-CUs to be built at the Curtiss plant Buffalo, New York, in the end only one was completed. This was converted into the XC-113, testing the General Electric TG-100 propeller turbine."

Created March 15, 2017