Early USAAF Twin-Jet Bomber.

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This project dates from 1944. The USAAF and war department urgently called for bids to be made for a jet-bomber capable of competing with Luftwaffe jet fighters which were coming into service. The XB-46 was tendered along with the North American XB-45 (the Boeing XB-47 and Martin XB-48 were also included but extra development time put them back two years).

Although the war ended, the haste to find a jet-bomber did not stop as the threat from Soviet forces kept the momentum. However, even before proper trials began the XB-46 had already lost out on paper to the more conventional (and less risky) design of the XB-45 partly due to the newly formed USAF's concerns over the slenderness of the airframe (and consequent lack of equipment carrying potential) and greater weight.

One experimental aircraft was allowed to be completed which first flew in April 1947 and survived until 1952 as a USAF test-bed.

Span: 34.44m (113' 0") Length: 32.23m (105' 9") Max. Speed: 877 km/h (545 mph)