DescriptionThe Martin B-26 Marauder is an American twin-engined medium bomber that saw extensive service during World War II.
First used in the Pacific Theater of World War II in early 1942, it was also used in the Mediterranean Theater and in Western Europe.
After entering service with the United States Army aviation units, the aircraft quickly received the reputation of a "widowmaker" due to the early models' high accident rate during takeoffs and landings. This was because the Marauder had to be flown at precise airspeeds, particularly on final runway approach or when one engine was out. The unusually high 150 mph (241 km/h) speed on short final runway approach was intimidating to many pilots who were used to much slower approach speeds, and whenever they slowed to speeds below those stipulated in the manual, the aircraft would often stall and crash.
The B-26 became a safer aircraft once crews were re-trained, and after aerodynamics modifications (an increase of wingspan and wing angle-of-incidence to give better takeoff performance, and a larger vertical stabilizer and rudder). The Marauder ended World War II with the lowest loss rate of any USAAF bomber.
A total of 5,288 were produced between February 1941 and March 1945; 522 of these were flown by the Royal Air Force and the South African Air Force. By the time the United States Air Force was created as an independent military service separate from the United States Army in 1947, all Martin B-26s had been retired from U.S. service. After the Marauder was retired the unrelated Douglas A-26 Invader then assumed the "B-26" designation which led to confusion between the two aircraft.
For details of development and design, operational history and many variants, click here.
- Crew: 7: (2 pilots, bombardier/radio operator, navigator/radio operator, 3 gunners)
- 58 ft 3 in (17.75 m)
- 71 ft 0 in (21.64 m)
- 21 ft 6 in (6.55 m)
- Wing Area:
- 658 sq ft (61.1 sq m)
- Empty Weight:
- 24,000 lb (10,886 kg)
- Gross weight: 37,000 lb (16,783 kg)
- 2 × Pratt & Whitney R-2800-43 Double Wasp 18-cylinder radial piston engines, 2,000–2,200 hp (1,500–1,600 kW) each
- Maximum speed: 287 mph (462 km/h, 249 kn) at 5,000 feet (1,500 m)
- Cruise Speed:
- 216 mph (348 km/h, 188 kn)
- Stall Speed:
- Landing speed: 114 mph (99 kn; 183 km/h)
- Combat range: 1,150 mi (1,850 km, 1,000 nmi) with 3,000 pounds (1,400 kg) bombload and 1,153 US gal (4,365 l) of fuel
- Rate of Climb:
- 1,200 ft/min (6.1 m/s)
- Service Ceiling:
- 21,000 ft (6,400 m)