Model Airplane News
May, 1936

Model Airplane News Cover for May, 1936 by Jo Kotula Vultee V-11 Light Bomber

Vultee V-11 Light Bomber
Model Airplane News Cover Art for May, 1936
by Jo Kotula
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The Vultee V-11 was an adaptation of the Vultee V-1A transport as an attack-bomber. It embodied the latest structural and aerodynamic techniques evolved in the USA and also featured a retractable undercarriage.

The Vultee V-11 Light Bomber      The Vultee V-11 Light Bomber

Vultee V-11 Light Bomber
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It was first flown in September 1935. It employed the same wing and undercarriage and essentially similar tail surfaces to the V-1A. The fuselage was new, a semi-monocoque stressed-skin structure of elliptical cross-section, incorporating an internal bomb-bay. A "greenhouse" canopy joined the two cockpits and could permit deployment of an aft-firing machine gun. It was owered by a Wright Cyclone radial engine driving a two-blade controllable-pitch metal propeller The wing centre section was built as an integral part of the fuselage and the stressed skin had corrugated reinforcements on the inside.

The V-11G was a two-seater but the V-11GB was fitted with three seats for a crew consisting of pilot, bomb-aimer and rear gunner. A window for bomb-aiming was inserted in the floor below the gunner's swiveling seat and aft of this window there was a hatch which permitted the bomb-aimer to fire a gun aft and downwards. Observation windows for the bomb-aimer were inserted in the rear fuselage sides. Armament comprised four fixed forward-firing machine guns mounted in the wings and two aft-firing, one dorsal and one ventral gun on flexible mounts. The internal bomb-bay could hold about 150 lb of bombs and the alternative external load could comprise up to 225 lb. A few V-11s were acquired for service tests by the US Army as the A-19 and others were exported to Brazil (twenty-six), China (thirty) and Turkey (forty). A number of the V-12 derivative, which had a more powerful engine, was sold to China.

Soviet representatives visited the Vultee plant in 1936 to discuss acquisition of the V-11GB. They obtained four as pattern aircraft and purchased a licence for series production in the Soviet Union. Although several examples were produced, the Soviet versions did not meet State performance standards.

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