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Typenumber XO27
Type of aircraft
3 persons reconnaissance aircraft
Country U.S.
Date first flight 1929
Wingspan wingspan 64 feet
Lenght 47 feet
Height 11 feet 6 inches
Wing area 619 square feet
Enginetype Two Curtiss V-1570-23 Conqueror twelve-cylinder liquid-cooled Vee engines
600 hp
6861 pounds empty
Takeoff weight 10,545 pounds gross
Max. speed 160 mph at sea level.
Armament two 0.30-inch machine guns, one in a flexible nose position and the other in a flexible dorsal position
Fokker XO-27

Fokker XO-27/XB8

Fokker XO-27/XB8

High wing monoplane

The Fokker Aircraft Corporation of Teterboro, New Jersey (formerly known as the Atlantic Aircraft Corporation) was the American subsidiary of the Fokker corporation.

On June 19, 1929, the US Army Air Corps ordered two XO-27 prototypes from Fokker. Serials were 29-327/328. The XO-27 was a high-winged, cantilever monoplane powered by a pair of V-1570-9 Conqueror twelve-cylinder liquid-cooled engines mounted in the leading edge of the wing.

The wing was constructed entirely of wood, and the fuselage was of steel tube construction with fabric covering. The landing gear was retractable, the first such to be fitted to an Army Air Corps observation or bombardment aircraft. Three crew members could be carried in open cockpits. Armament was to consist of two flexible 0.30-inch machine guns, one operated by a gunner in a nose position and the other by a gunner in a dorsal position.

In response to the Fokker design, the Douglas Aircraft Corporation submitted a competing proposal for a twin-engined observation monoplane. On March 26, 1930, the Army ordered two example of the Douglas proposal, one being designated XO-35 and the other XO-36. The two planes were to be almost identical to each other, with the primary difference being that the XO-35 was powered by geared Conquerors and the XO-36 by direct-drive Conquerors.

The performance of the Douglas XO-35/36 and the Fokker XO-27 promised to greatly exceed that of the lumbering Keystone biplanes that were at that time the standard USAAC light bombers.

Consequently, in 1929 the Army decided to have the second prototype of both designs completed as a light bomber rather than as an observation plane.

The designation XB-8 was assigned to the Fokker design, XB-7 to the Douglas design. The XO-27 (29-327) was first tested at Wright Field on October 20, 1930.


The prototype was later fitted with an enclosure over the pilot's cockpit and was fitted with geared V-1570-29 engines, being redesignated XO-27A.

In 1930, Fokker-America was absorbed by the General Aviation Corporation, which was a subsidiary of General Motors, the large automobile manufacturing concern. On April 11, 1931, the company received a contract for six service test YO-27s (31-587/592). A month later, six service test YB-8s were ordered (31-598/603).

The first YO-27 was flown on September 10, 1932, and was issued to the 12th Observation Group based at Brooks Field, Texas. The YO-27 had longer engine nacelles and was equipped with windows in the nose. There was a single Browning machine gun in a flexible position in the nose and another Browning machine gun in a flexible position in the rear cockpit.

The XB-8 (29-328) was delivered to Wright Field in February of 1931. The XB-8 did not have as good a performance as the competing Douglas XB-7, and only one example of the XB-8 was built.

The six YB-8s that had been ordered by the Army were redesignated Y1O-27 before they were manufactured and were delivered as observation planes. In any case, the advances in bomber design that took place in the early 1930s had become so rapid that both the XB-7 and XB-8 were deemed obsolete and no production was ordered for either design.

In 1933, the General Motors Corporation underwent a major reorganization and joined its General Aviation Corporation subsidiary into a large conglomerate along with other GM-owned aircraft companies such as Berliner-Joyce and the Curtiss-Caproni Corporation.

This conglomerate was also known as the General Aviation Corporation. The complex of General Motors aircraft plants was later organized as the Eastern Aircraft Division and was to manufacture thousands of aircraft under license during the Second World War.