Republic  XP-69

                                     Another image I debated putting out here.  Not only was this machine never constructed, but the
                                     model, seen here, wasn't even full sized.     It was, in fact, a three-quarter scale mock-up of what
                                     would have been a gigantic fighter, powered by a 2,500 h.p.42 cylinder Curtiss-Wright R-2160
                                     Tornado.   The P-69 was intended to be a Thunderbolt replacement.  Information at the time led
                                     one to believe that this would be driving a contra-rotating prop, driven through an extension shaft,
                                     a la the Aircobra of yesteryear    This, however, is where it gets interesting.     In 2001 Kimble D.
                                     McCutcheon published a book on the Wright Tornado engine also declaring the XP-69 to be a
                                     mid-engine fighter with the long drive shaft.    Since then Kimble discovered a drawing at the U.S.
                                     National Archives (see below) which clearly shows a conventional, in front of the pilot, engine
                                     installation (isn't it irritating when correcting information comes to light after you have published?)
                                     Kimble blames himself somewhat for not closely studying the drawings which were available and
                                     which showed a plethora of turbosupercharger ducts and radiators behind the pilot which would
                                     have left little room for the massive engine!       It is thought that the Republic AP-18 design (the
                                     XP-69) evolved from the earlier AP-12 which does show a mid-engine configuration.  It appears
                                     that historians of the day came to the conclusion that the AP-18 had a similar layout.   Pressure of
                                     other work,  probably more than teething problems with the new engine (only to be expected)
                                     were cited as reasons for Republic abandoning further work on the XP-69.