Beechcraft XA-38 Grizzly Photo Gallery
    Beechcraft was well known for making docile trainers and light aircraft, however the XA-38 'Grizzly' could certainly could 'pack a punch'! Slated to replace the Douglas A-20 Havoc, it was heavily armed with a 75mm cannon, and designed for ground attack with the ability to hit "hardened" targets such as tanks and bunkers. The 75 mm cannon with 20 rounds was mounted in a fixed position in the nose with two .50 caliber (12.7 mm) M2 Browning forward firing machine guns. Defensive armament consisted of twin .50 caliber machine guns in remote controlled ventral and dorsal turrets. The airplane was manned by two crew members, a pilot and an observer/gunner in the rear cabin, using periscope sights to aim the guns. The armament proved especially effective, but wartime priorities had shifted in 1944.

    It was powered by two Wright R-3350 engines, the same engine that was already in use with the Boeing B-29 Superfortress, however, the B-29 had priority. While the first prototype flew on 7 May 1944, testing established that the type would not be ready for the projected invasion of Japan. Consequently, the XA-38 never entered production and was canceled after a second prototype had been completed.

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Posted January 31, 2000, Updated May 11, 2023.