At a time when the USAF was still deciding what to do with the A-for Attack designation, Fairchild submitted an odd-looking combat type, the M-202 Kestrel, which was evaluated as the XA-46. Hughes' contender to the same specification, the Model H-18 Hussar was of similar configuration and was tested as the XA-49. Both were very capable aircraft, appreciated by the test pilots; the Hussar's performance was even better than that of the Kestrel, and it clearly was the Air Force's favorite, but it eventually lost out because Hughes was not considered as having the capacity to deliver with full-scale production of a fighter if it won. Not that it mattered in the end, because the whole specification was abandoned and both aircraft programs terminated. The Air Force decided to leave the attack mission aside and go for big bombers and missiles instead. That was the end of the A- for attack class.
Imaginary model adapted from the twin-boom Hughes D-2 reconnaissance aircraft, tested by the U.S.A.F. as the XF-11, then XR-11.
© Stéphane Beaumort / AviaDesign 2010