The prototype, the Detroit-Lockheed XP-900, flew in September 1931 and was purchased by the United States Army Air Corps as the Lockheed YP-24.Its performance was impressive, being faster than any fighter then in service with the Air Corps, and an order for five Y1P-24 fighters and four Y1A-9 attack aircraft was placed for the new aircraft, despite the loss of the prototype on 19 October 1931.The Consolidated P-30 (PB-2) was a 1930s United States two-seat fighter aircraft.An attack version called the A-11 was also built, along with two Y1P-25 prototypes and YP-27, Y1P-28, and XP-33 proposals.It demonstrated promising performance, reaching a speed of 247 miles per hour (398 km/h) at 15,000 feet (4,600 m), but was destroyed in a crash on 13 January 1933, killing its pilot, Hugh M.Elmendorf (whose name was later given to Elmendorf Air Base in Alaska).The order for the second prototype was quickly changed to a Y1A-11 attack aircraft, omitting the supercharger.
The Army Air Corps ordered two prototypes as the Y1P-25 in March 1932, to be powered by a Curtiss V-1570-27, fitted with a turbo-supercharger on the port side of the forward fuselage.The Y1A-11, armed with four forward-firing machine guns instead of the two of the Y1P-25 and racks for 400 lb (182 kg) of bombs was delivered to Wright Field on 5 January 1933.On 20 January 1933 the Y1A-11 disintegrated in midair, killing pilot Irvin A. Despite the loss of both prototypes in a week, on 1 March 1933, the Air Corps placed an order for four P-30 fighters and four A-11 attack aircraft.These production variants differed from the prototypes in having stronger fuselages, simplified undercarriages and more powerful engines. Air Corps placed an order for a further 50 P-30As, with more powerful V-1570-61 engines driving a three-bladed variable-pitch propeller and with oxygen supplies for the crew.
The P-30 is significant for being the first fighter in United States Army Air Corps service to have retractable landing gear, an enclosed and heated cockpit for the pilot, and an exhaust-driven turbosupercharger for altitude operation.In 1931, the Detroit Aircraft Corporation, parent company of the Lockheed Aircraft Company built a two-seat single-engined fighter aircraft based on the Lockheed Altair high-speed transport as a private venture.