JF Ptak Science Books Quick Post
The massive B-19 bomber built by the Douglas XB-19 (originally designated XBLR-2, the eXperimental Bomber Long-Range 2) was a prototype for a U.S. Army Air Corps transcontinental bomber--a striking and revolutionary plan when it was begun in 1938. So far as I can tell this is an early public discussion of the aircraft--it must have been an intimidating piece of propaganda so far as Axis forces were concerned. It was about the size of a 747 and carried an extended crew of 24 for the long mission, which could see the plane to Europe and back over a 24-hour-long flight as it lumbered out and back at about 180 mph (which would explain the crew rotation and size). At the heart of the aircraft was its 18-ton payload--dwarfing the then-huge payload of the B-17B's 3 tons (and later 17G's 4.5 ton), which was deliverable in a flight range of over 7,000 miles, which was more than three times that of the B-17.The aircraft first flew experimentally in 1941, but even then it was seen as being of an obsolete design, and wound up being discontinued by 1949. The development of the plane served its purpose in aiding design for other aircraft, and it never saw service during the war.
The article that sparked this post is below, found in Popular Science Monthly for December, 1940.
Here's a remarkable video found on youtube on the B-19--notice the size of the tires and the enormous cockpit (and so on):