Dec 152011

The Lockheed V-156 was a study for a jet patrol airplane prepared for the US Navy Bureau of Aeronautics on November 1, 1944. Resembling an enlarged Fouga Magister (though bearing no relation to that design), the V-156 was a shoulder wing monoplane with a V-tail powered by a pair of unspecified jet engines, possibly the Lockheed J37 (company designation L-1000). These jets were augmented by three Aerojet Nitromethane 2,000 lb rocket assist motors used to shorten the take-off run. Flying surfaces were unswept.

The V-156 was quite large for the period, with a span of 75 ft, an overall length of 62.5 ft, an overall height of 15.5 ft, and a design gross weight of 40,000 lbs. A crew of three was housed under a large streamlined canopy, with an additional transparency housing the radar in the nose. Offensive armament consisted of six 20mm guns installed in the lower forward fuselage and four 20mm guns in the wing. The explosive load consisted of a pair of M65 1,000 lb bombs; a single M66 2,000 lb bomb; a single 11.75″ aircraft rocket; or four M64 500 lb bombs.

The main defensive armament of the V-156 was the tail turret, which featured a pair of 20mm cannon, a 50° cone of fire, radar search and sighting, and radar gun laying (with computer).

The official BuAer response to the Lockheed proposal has not been located, though we have uncovered a weight breakdown done by the Bureau. In any case, we know that the design was ultimately rejected in favor of more conventional patrol aircraft, like the Lockheed P2V Neptune.

To view scans of the original proposal brochure in depth, please click through the image gallery above. The document does not contain a complete three-view of the study, but a reasonably accurate one could probably be drawn up from the artwork and information provided.

All images from NARA Archives II, College Park, MD, RG 72

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