Sunday, May 10, 2009

Martin B-26 Marauder Development and Variants

The Martin B-26 Marauder was one of the more controversial American aircraft of the Second World War, earning an early reputation as a killer aircraft before going on to suffer the lowest loss rate of any American bomber in the European theatre

The Martin B-26 Marauder was the designation given to the first 201 Marauders, ordered straight off the drawing board in 1940 and delivered during 1941.

The Martin B-26A Marauder was the second production version of the aircraft. It differed from the B-26 in having the 0.30in nose and tail guns replaced with more powerful 0.50in guns, and by having the fittings for an auxiliary fuel tank in the aft bomb bay.

The Martin B-26B was the most numerous version of the Marauder. At first it differed from earlier versions in having more powerful engines and increased armament, but starting with the 642nd aircraft it was also given longer wings and larger tail fin in an attempt to make it easier for inexperienced pilots to fly

The Martin B-26C Marauder was the designation given to those B-26s built at Martin's factory in Omaha, Nebraska

The Martin XB-26D Marauder was the designation given to a single B-26 that was modified to test a wing de-icing system that used ducts to direct hot air from the engines onto the wings

The designation Martin B-26E Marauder was associated with two different projects, involved either an adjustment of the angle of incidence of the wings or the movement of the aircraft's dorsal turret.

The Martin B-26F saw the last major change to the design of the Marauder medium bomber, a 3.5 degrees increase in the angle of incidence of the wing, which was introduced to improve the aircraft's poor take-off performance

The Martin B-26G was the final production version of the Marauder bomber and was part of an effort to increase the number of parts that Army and Navy aircraft had in common.

The Martin XB-26H Marauder was the designation given to a single TB-26G trainer that was modified to test out a new arrangement of landing gear that was being designed for the new generation of jet bombers.

The Martin AT-23 was the first designation given to a number of Marauder bombers converted to act as target tugs.

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