Development of the XF10B Stingray

In 1942 the US Navy issued a request for proposals to the aircraft industry for innovative designs for a new generation of combat aircraft. Designs were submitted by Boeing, Grumman, Vought, Lockheed and Douglas.

Grumman submitted a jet version of its F7F Tigercat and Lockheed offered a navalised version of the P-80 Shooting Star. Both designs were rejected as to conventional. The Douglas design featured a single engine pusher aircraft not unlike the Curtiss XP-55. The navy feared that the pusher propeller would be easily damaged during deck landings and this proposal was rejected too.

Both Vought and Boeing offered circular wing designs but where Vought choose a twin engined design with two propellers at the tips of the circular wing, Boeings design featured a single engine and a conventional contra rotating propeller in the nose.

Both companies were awarded orders for two prototypes as the XF5U-1 and XF10B respectively. The prototypes were built during 1943 and flight testing began early 1944. From the start the XF5U ran into difficulties with the drive shafts for the propellers which caused massive vibrations in the aircraft.

The Boeing aircraft suffered little problems during flight testing and the performance looked promising enough to warrant production. In March 1945 a production order was awarded to Boeing for 200 F10B-1 Stingray fighters and the first aircraft was delivered in December.

Although the Stingray performed quite well, it was not very well liked by the crew. The unconventional design meant that handling characteristics were substantially different from more conventional aircraft.

At one time there were plans to produce a F10B-2 version with a more powerful engine but these plans were never realized. The Stingray was withdrawn from frontline service in 1948 and replaced by the Boeing F11B Cobra.

The model

This is the Unicraft 1/72 resin model. Decals are from the spares box.

Last updated: 14/03/2009