44-61508 The XB-43 was a development of the XB-42, dating from 1943, intended to replace the Douglas A-26 Invader. It was America's first jet bomber with a contract being issued on 31/3/1944 for two prototypes (44-61508/9). The first prototype 61508 took to the air on 17/5/1946, with Bob Brush and Russell Thaw at the controls. The flight tests showed good performance but it was hampered by a number of troublesome handling characteristics. But by this time the USAAF had decided not to order the production version the B-43, favoring the four engined B-45.
A second aircraft (44-61509) was delivered to the USAAF in May 1947, it would be used for a engine test bed for various power plants, with one of it's engines being replaced by a General Electric J47 turbojet. This aircraft was kept flying until late 1953, by cannibalizing the first XB-43, 508 which was damaged in an accident on 1/2/1951, and ended up in this undocumented field as seen in this original kodachrome from DEC 1960.
This photo is copyright by Bernard Schulte Collection.
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