Curtiss-Wright XP-55 Ascender

XP-55 Ascender
Curtiss XP-55 Ascender in flight 061024-F-1234P-007.jpg
Curtiss XP-55 Ascender in flight.
Role Fighter
Manufacturer Curtiss-Wright Corporation
First flight 19 July 1943
Status Canceled at flight-test stage
Number built 3

The Curtiss-Wright XP-55 Ascender (company designation CW-24) is a 1940s United States prototype fighter aircraft built by Curtiss-Wright. Along with the Vultee XP-54 and Northrop XP-56, it resulted from United States Army Air Corps proposal R-40C issued on 27 November 1939 for aircraft with improved performance, armament, and pilot visibility over existing fighters; it specifically allowed for unconventional aircraft designs. An unusual design for its time, it had a canard configuration, a rear-mounted engine, swept wings, and two vertical tails. Because of its pusher design, it was sarcastically referred to as the "Ass-ender".[1] Like the XP-54, the Ascender was designed for the Pratt & Whitney X-1800 engine, but was re-designed after that engine project was canceled. It was also the first Curtiss fighter aircraft to use tricycle landing gear.

  1. ^ Jenkins 2008. p. 8.