A Long Nose Probe?

This Week’s Hints to help you along:

  • This is definitely an American design.
  • Your answer must include information about the nose.
  • Flying over the USA in tests — but what’s the purpose?
  • The engines killed the plane, but not due to engine troubles.

So do you know what this aircraft is — and what is that strange nose?




Post a REPLY below with your best guess!

Click here to check out last week’s What’s That?


7 thoughts on “A Long Nose Probe?

  1. John (Gus) Guzman says:

    Beechcraft Grizzly was also allocated the nomenclature of XA-38 (?). There was a rumor at the time that it was faster than a P-51 Mustang. A promising design, wonder why only two were ma de.

  2. nico braas says:

    That was an awful big gun in the nose with a calibre of 75 mm. Type was a T15E1 cannon with a type T-13 automatic feed mechanism for 20 rounds of AP/HE and HE shells. It was fired by the pilot by a switch on the control column at a rate of one round/second. Cannon was fitted centre-line and the huge recoil was hydraulically damped so after firing one round the pilot did not have to re-aim. It was tested on surplus army material and the results were described as devastating. If produced it really would have been a terrific piece of flying artillery and both Gemany and Japan were unaware of this weapon (which was maybe the best). It had, however a very ‘unlucky’ engine choice: the same as for the B-29 Superfortress bomber and that plane had at that time absolute priority!
    I still wonder what the Grizzly might have done if used on a large scale in the Korean war!
    And yes, in a slight dive at full power it could outrun escorting Mustangs during test flights!
    That big 75 mm monster was not the only gun the Grizzly had. It was further armed with four fixed 30 mm guns under the fuselage belly and a couple of 0.50 machine guns in a dorsal turret.

  3. Bill Zimmerman says:

    It’s a Beechcraft XA-38 Heavy attack aircraft named “Grizzly”.

    1. N.Leonard Wener says:

      The plane is a B-25 “Mitchell” bomber. I’m guessing that the nose probe is for airspeed and atmospheric data.

      1. HW says:

        It is, as others have successfully related, a Beechcraft XA-38 Grizzly — and yes, that is a cannon mounted on the nose. Never reaching production before the end of World War II, it would have made an awesome tank killer.


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