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Martin B-26 Marauder

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During World War II the Martin B-26 Marauder was considered a 'hot' ship - high-powered, unforgiving and risky to fly. But in spite of unflattering nicknames like 'Widowmaker' and 'Flying Coffin', the Marauder was not as dangerous as was widely believed. In fact, it was a potent warplane - a silvery sleek bullet of a medium bomber which could carry a respectable bombload and outrun the opposition.

The Martin Marauder went straight into production, the first aircraft to fly being a service model and not a prototype. It made an immediate impact, rumour giving the new medium bomber an (exaggerated) top speed of almost 600 km/h (370mph), faster than most fighters then in service. Its engines were in streamlined nacelles underslung from a shoulder-mounted wing, enhancing the image of the Marauder as a silvery 'Flying Torpedo'.

Although employed to good effect for conventional and torpedo bombing, the Marauder never made its mark in the Pacific theatre where the more conventional, less challenging B-25 Mitchell was preffered.

In Europe the story was very different, with B-26s joining US squadrons in 1942. The initial deployment by the 319th Bomb Group was trouble-plagued. The Marauder landed at 210 km/h (130 mph) and could betray an unskilled pilot. But the B-26 soon made its mark over the continent, proving to be a rugged, accurate and extremely hard-hitting tactical weapon.

Following their success in covering the invasion of Normandy, Marauders again proved successful in attacking the heavily defended German V-1 flying bomb launch sites during 1944.

Martin B-26 Marauder

Martin B-26 Marauder Martin B-26 Marauder medium bomber Martin B-26 Marauder streamlined for speed
Designed in 1939 for the US Army Air Corps, the sleek, fast, twin-engined Martin Model 179 Marauder was ordered straight into production without a prototype or trials. A stick of 114 kgs (250 lbs) bombs falls from the internal bomb-bay of a raiding B-26. The aircraft could carry a rather modest total weight of 2359 kgs (5,200 lbs). The B-26 was designed with a very sleek, circular section fuselage, curving to the nose and tail cones. The cockpit windscreen was streamlined, and the wing was designed for speed rather than lift.

Martin B-26 Marauder (Technical Specification)
Role Seven-seat medium day-bomber
Manufacturer Martin
Maximum Speed 454 kmh (317 mph)
Maximum Range 1,851 km (1,148 miles)
Ceiling 6,400 meters (23,500 feet)
Maximum Takeoff

10,886 kg (23,950 lbs)
16,783 kg (36,923 lbs)
Wing Area

21.64 meters (71 ft)
17.75 meters (58 ft)
6.55 meters (21 ft)
61.13 square meters (679 sq ft)
Engines Two Pratt & Whitney R-2800-43 Double Wasp radial piston engines each providing 1432-kW (1,920 hp)
Armament Eight 12.7 mm (0.50 cal) machine-guns with 3950 rounds of ammunition
A maximum internal bombload of 2359 kgs (5,170 lbs)

Photo Gallery

My Father with his plane shif'less taken in 1943 in tunisia

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