J.Wegg General Dynamics Aircraft and Their Predecessors Since 1912 (Putnam)
The United States had received a sample Bristol F.2b Fighter in September 1917 and immediately started work to convert it with a Liberty 12 engine. This resulted in an aircraft weighing 3,600 lb and the programme had been abandoned after twenty seven were completed by Curtiss. Instead, lighter engines were adopted including the 300hp Wright-Hispano and the Liberty 8.
At McCook Field, the Engineering Division designed a new plywood fuselage, lighter and stronger than the original, and with the 300hp Wright-Hispano H engine the conversion was known as the XB-1A. Armed with two Browning and two Lewis guns, three Engineering Division prototypes were built, the first flying on 3 July, 1919. Dayton Wright completed four more (64115/P-171, 64300/P-180, 94107/P-150, and 94108/P-151). These were followed by a contract for forty XB-1As (64156/64194, 64300) placed with Dayton Wright on 28 June, 1920. Four of these were tested at McCook (64158/P-179), 64160/P-181, 64161/ P-182, 64177/P-205) and two were transferred to the Navy (BuA 5974/5975). The others were assigned to the 12th Observation and 13th Attack Squadrons in Texas.
Span 39ft 4in; length 25ft 6in; height 9ft 10in; wing area 406sq ft.
Weight empty 2,155 lb; gross weight 3,791 lb.
Maximum speed 130mph; cruising speed 101mph; climb 6,500ft/7.5 min; service ceiling 18,900ft; range 495 miles/4hr at 10,000ft (100US gal fuel capacity).
C.Barnes Bristol Aircraft since 1910 (Putnam)
The Bristol Fighter F.2A and F.2B
When the United States entered the war in 1917 the Bristol Fighter was among the British types proposed for large-scale production in America; 2000 were ordered first from the Curtiss Aeroplane and Motor Corporation of Buffalo, N.Y., and later from a group of other firms to be supervised by the Engineering Division of the Bureau of Aircraft Production at McCook Field, Dayton, Ohio; all were originally to be fitted with the 300 h.p. Hispano-Suiza, licence-built by the Wright-Martin Corporation. These plans met with approval from the Company, and several of the Filton staff went to America to supervise the arrangements, taking with them two sample airframes. To their dismay, they found that the engine actually chosen was the 400 h.p. Liberty 12, which was too heavy and badly installed. Capt. Barnwell predicted trouble but was overruled; when the first Curtiss-built F.2B flew and crashed he was proved correct, but the U.S. Army blamed the aircraft rather than the power plant, and only 27 of the contract were built, the rest being cancelled. Technical opinion at McCook Field was less biased and the two Filton-built aircraft were flown, one (P 30) with a 300 h.p. HispanoSuiza and the other (P 37) with a 290 h.p. Liberty 8. P 37 crashed before any performance tests could be made, but on 18 November 1918 P 30 was flown by Major Schroeder to a height of 29,000 ft. above Dayton, an unofficial world's altitude record for which homologation was never sought. A Hispano-Suiza-engined F.2B variant with semi-monocoque veneer fuselage was built at McCook Field with the designation XB-1A (P 90) in July 1919, and 40 more were produced for the U.S. Army by Dayton-Wright in 1920.
P.Bowers Curtiss Aircraft 1907-1947 (Putnam)
Following several serious crashes of early test models, the Curtiss contract was cancelled after 26 Bristols had been completed (US Army serial numbers 34232/34257). This did not kill off official US interest in the design, however. While Curtiss tried to develop its own version of a Bristol replacement, the CB, the Air Service Engmeenng Division at McCook Field developed lower-powered versions with 300 hp Wright-Hispano engines and new laminated wood monocoque fuselages. Thirty of these were eventually produced by the Dayton-Wright Aircraft Company under the designation of USXB-1A.