Role Fighter
National origin United States
Manufacturer Douglas Aircraft Company
First flight January 1933
Primary user United States Navy
Number built 1

The Douglas XFD was a carrier-based biplane fighter aircraft designed for the United States Navy, and the first fighter to be built by the Douglas Aircraft Company. A victim of changing requirements, no production was undertaken.

Design and development

The XFD was designed to the U.S. Navy's Bureau of Aeronautics (BuAer) Specification No. 311, requesting a carrier-based two-seater biplane fighter.[1] On June 30, 1932, the Navy ordered the XFD, Vought XF3U, and Curtiss XF12C for testing.[2]

The first naval fighter designed by Douglas Aircraft,[3] the XFD was constructed of metal, with a fabric outer covering. The crew sat in tandem in a single bay, enclosed by a long canopy. The aircraft had fixed conventional landing gear, and was designed to be armed with two .30 in (7.6 mm) machine guns, one fixed in the cowling and the other on a flexible mount for the observer. A 500-pound (230 kg) bomb load could be carried.[4] Powered was supplied by a Pratt & Whitney R-1535 Twin Wasp Junior radial engine.[4]

Operational history

The XFD-1[N 1] prototype first flew in January 1933;[2] it was delivered to the U.S. Navy for trials at Naval Air Station Anacostia in June 1933, within four days of the delivery of the Vought XF3U-1;[4] evaluations of the types were undertaken between June 18, 1933 and August 14, 1934.[2] While the XFD-1's performance was considered to be acceptable, the U.S. Navy's operational requirements were already changing to see the two-seat fighter concept falling out of favor, the scout bomber being considered more useful for the Navy's needs, and accordingly after the end of the XFD-1's flight trials no further orders were placed for the type.[4]


The XFD-1 in June 1933

Data from Angelucci 1987,[2] Johnson 2011[4]

General characteristics



See also

Aircraft of comparable role, configuration, and era

Related lists



  1. ^ The XFD-1 designation was later reused by the U.S. Navy for the prototype of the McDonnell FH Phantom jet fighter.


  1. ^ Yenne 1985, p. 64.
  2. ^ a b c d Angelucci, 1987. pp. 182-183.
  3. ^ Pattillo 2001, p. 111.
  4. ^ a b c d e Johnson 2011, p. 84.


  • Angelucci, Enzo (1987). The American Fighter from 1917 to the present. New York: Orion Books.
  • Johnson, E.R. (2011). United States Naval Aviation, 1919-1941. Jefferson, NC: McFarland & Company. ISBN 978-0-7864-4550-9.
  • Pattillo, Donald (2001). Pushing the Envelope: The American Aircraft Industry. Ann Arbor, MI: University of Michigan Press. ISBN 0-472-10869-7.
  • Yenne, Bill (1985). McDonnell Douglas: Tale of Two Giants. New York: Crescent Books. ISBN 978-0-5174-4287-6.