Consolidated P-25

The Consolidated P-25 was a two-seat single engined fighter that was produced in prototype form and then ordered into production as the Consolidated P-30.

The P-25 was developed from the Lockheed YP-24, which was itself a development of the Lockheed 8D Altair. The prototype of the YP-24 had a metal fuselage and tail surfaces and wood wings from the Altair, and used a Curtiss Conqueror engine. It had a retractable undercarriage. It was delivered to Wright Field on 29 September 1931, where it was given the project number XP-900. The new aircraft had a top speed of 214mph, and partly because of that it was then purchased by the Army Air Corps, as the YP-24, and on 23 September 1931 an order was placed for five Y1P-24 two-seat fighters and four Y1A-9 attack versions (based on the Detroit XP-938). A few weeks later, on 19 October, the prototype YP-24 was destroyed in a crash.

In 1929 the chief shareholder in Lockheed sold his shares to the Detroit Aircraft Company, but on 27 October 1931 this company went bankrupt. Work on the XP-24 came to a halt, until its designer, Robert J. Woods, joined Consolidated. Lockheed was bought out of bankruptcy in 1932, but without the YP-24.  

Woods' first task was to work on an improved version of the YP-24. He replaced the wooden wings with all-metal wings, increased the size of the tail, used metal coverings of the tail control surfaces and added a turbocharger for the Curtiss V-1570-27 engine. The aircraft had low mounted cantilever wings, a chin radiator and retractable tail-wheel landing gear. The fighter was armed with two fixed forward firing 0.3in machine guns and one flexibly mounted 0.3in machine gun in the rear cockpit. The crew of two sat in tandem, with the second crewman facing backwards at the open rear of a long cockpit canopy.

In March 1932 Consolidated received an order for two prototypes - one fighter as the Y1P-25 (Consolidated Model 25) and one attack aircraft as the XA-11 (Consolidated Model 27).

This was only the second time that Consolidated had worked with metal wings (after the XBY-1), and development was slow. The first prototype, the Y1P-25, was delivered to Wright Field on 9 December 1932 but lost in a crash on 13 January 1933. The XA-11 prototype was also lost in a crash one week later, but despite these problems the Army placed an order for four fighters, as the P-30 and four attack aircraft as the A-11. After tests on the P-30 another fifty were ordered as the P-30A and the type became the only two man single engined fighter to see service with the USAAC.

Engine: Curtiss V-1570-27 Conqueror turbo-charged inline engine
Power: 600hp
Crew: 2
Span: 43ft 10in
Length: 29ft 4in
Height: 8ft 7in
Empty Weight: 3,887lb
Loaded Weight: 5,110lb
Maximum Speed: 205mph at seal leve, 247mph at 15,000ft
Cruising Speed:
Climb rate: 6.7min to 10,000ft

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How to cite this article: Rickard, J (20 September 2017), Consolidated P-25 , http://www.historyofwar.org/articles/weapons_consolidated_P-25.html

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