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Martin B-26 Marauder


The B-26 was ordered off the drawing board (no prototypes were built) at the same time as the B-25. With a troubled development history, it was called (among other things) the "Flying Prostitute" - with its high wing loading (51 lbs per square ft) and small wings, it was said to have had no visible means of support. Although most problems were caused by pilot unfamiliarity, there were some development problems. Eventually, the type's deficiencies were corrected and the B-26 went on to a stellar career. B-26 crews began flying combat missions in the South Pacific in the spring of 1942, but most of the aircraft were sent to England and the Mediterranean. The Marauder had the lowest loss rate of any Allied bomber, less than one-half of one percent. One B-26B, nicknamed Flak Bait, flew more missions in Europe (202) than any other Allied airplane in World War II. A small number were used by the Navy as JM-1/-2 for target tug, reconnaissance, and utility duties. Most of the B-26s were retired by 1948. It was one of several American warplanes given its official nickname by the British. Production aircraft were ordered to Australia the day after Pearl Harbor was attacked to provide additional defense. The B-26 was the only Army bomber to drop torpedoes. Because of its reputation as a "widow-maker" early in its career, Lt. Col. Jimmy Doolittle was ordered to go to training airfields to personally demonstrate that the B-26 could stay aloft on one engine. Late in the war, Marauders were used to attack German rocket sites, airfields, and communications centers in France and the Low Countries. One airplane was modified in order to test the tandem landing gear arrangement for the Boeing B-47 after the war.

General characteristics B-26G
Primary function Medium bomber
Contractor Glenn L. Martin Company
Power plant Two Pratt & Whitney R-2800-43 Double Wasp 18-cylinder, twin-row radials engines
Thrust 2,000 HP 1,491 kW
Wingspan 71 ft 21.64 m
Length 56.1 ft 17.09 m
Height 20.3 ft 6.20 m
Wingarea 658 sq ft 61.13 sq m
Weight empty 25,300 lb 11,476 kg
max. 38,200 lb 17,327 kg
Speed 283 mph 455 km/h
Initial climb rate 1,001 ft/min 305 m/min
Ceiling 19,850 ft 6,050 m
Range 1,150 miles 1,850 km
Armament 11x 12.7mm machine gun; 1,814 kg bombs
Crew Seven
Date deployed 1944
Cost $227,000
Number built 5,266



Jirka Wagner

 

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Last updated 14.10.2016