Lightweight for the China Trade: Gloster's CXP-1001 Fighter Project

Part of our series, Little-Known Jet Fighters, 1946-1960

Taiwan's lightweight Indigenous Defensive Fighter, the Ching-Kuo, is by no means the first aircraft of its type to be considered by the leaders of Taiwan's Nationalist Party. In 1946, the then Chinese government despatched a delegation to Britain. The team was charged with arranging for the design of a turbojet, a jet fighter, and a jet bomber suitable for manufacture in Nationalist factories. The Gloster company agreed to undertake design of the fighter under the designation CXP-1001.

The CXP-1001 was a single-seater designed around the existing Rolls-Royce Nene turbojet. It was 41 ft 10 in long, spanned 38 ft, and weighed 13,900 lbs loaded for a normal mission. Armament was to be four 20-mm cannon arranged around the air intake or a pair of the forthcoming 30-mm weapons. Design maximum speed was 600 mph. Ceiling was 40,000 ft. Range was 1000 miles with two drop tanks and a Meteor-style faired belly tank.

A full-scale mockup and a number of component parts were finished. However, the collapse of the Nationalist army in 1949 and the subsequent flight from the mainland brought the work to an abrupt halt. In any case, Gloster was now deeply involved in the competition for a new RAF all-weather fighter with the Javelin. It had few resources to spare. Taiwan's future defense would rest on American-manufactured airplanes for many years.

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© 1997 by Robert Craig Johnson. Part of a series first published, in abbreviated form, in Eagle Droppings, the Newsletter of the Rocky Mountain Chapter, IPMS/USA.