Sixty-five years ago. . .
North American B-25B Mitchell
The B-25 originated from an Army Air Corps competition that was won by Martin with their B-26 design. The contest was a novel one in that the Army would order the winning design straight into production, by-passing the prototype phase. Despite having garnered almost double North American’s score, Martin was adamant that they were not going to be able to produce the B-26 in the numbers the Army Air Corps wanted – so they awarded North American with the remainder of the contract. The B-26 was fast, rugged and could carry a significant bomb load – outstripping he B-25 in each category. It’s airframe was designed and constructed such that the ability to take punishment was legendary and second only to the B-17. Yet because of its high wing loading, the B-26 was also notable for its fast landing speeds and long takeoff requirements. The B-25, on the other hand, reached production sooner, also demonstrated a capable bomb carriage capability and, for the purposes of this mission, had take-off requirements that suited it for the carrier.
Still, when all was said and done, these were (relatively speaking) big aricraft on a small flight deck. Carriers wouldn’t see the likes of this until after the war with the advent of the specially modified P2Vs for the nuclear mission – and then those were limited to the much larger decks of the Midway-class carrier.
Armament: Six .50-cal. machine guns; 3,000 lbs. of bombs
Engine: Two Wright R-2600s of 1,700 hp each
Maximum speed: 328 mph
Cruising speed: 233 mph
Range: 2,500 miles (with auxiliary tanks)
Ceiling: 21,200 ft.
Span: 67 ft. 6 in.
Length: 53 ft.
Height: 16 ft. 9 in.
Weight: 29,300 lbs. maximum
Cost: $109,670 (1943)
Article Series - Centenary of Naval Aviation (1911-2011)
- Flightdeck Friday: Smoke and the Battle of Midway
- Flightdeck Friday: RF-8 Crusaders and BLUE MOON
- Flightdeck Friday: Midway POV – Wade McClusky
- Flightdeck Friday: 23 October 1972 and The End of Linebacker I
- Former VFP-62 CO and DFC Recipient, CAPT William Ecker, USN-Ret Passes Away
- CAPT John E. “Jack” Taylor, USN-Ret.
- Flightdeck Friday: USS MACON Added to National Register of Historical Places
- Tailhook Association and Association of Naval Aviation
- Flightdeck Friday: Speed and Seaplanes – The Curtiss CR-3 and R3C-2
- Flightdeck Friday: A Family Remembers a Father, Naval Officer and Former Vigilante B/N
- Out of the Box Thinking and Execution 68 Years Ago: The Doolittle Raid
- The ENTERPRISE Petition – A Gentle Reminder
- USS Enterprise (CVAN/CVN-65) At Fifty
- A Golden Anniversary: The Hawkeye At 50
- Project CADILLAC: The Beginning of AEW in the US Navy
- Project CADILLAC: The Beginning of AEW in the US Navy (Part II)
- Project CADILLAC: The Beginning of AEW in the US Navy (Part III)
- Reflections on the E-2 Hawkeye’s 50th Anniversary
- An Open Letter to “The 100th Anniversary of Naval Aviation Foundation”
- U.S. Naval Aviation – 100 Years
- Doolittle’s Raiders: Last Surviving Bomber Pilot of WWII Doolittle Raid, Dies at 93
- More Naval Aviation Heritage Aircraft (But Still No Hawkeye)
- Naval Aviation Centennial: Neptune’s Atomic Trident (1950)
- Naval Aviation Centennial: One Astronaut, A Future Astronaut and Reaching for New Heights
- Flightdeck Friday Special Edition: The Space Shuttle – Thirty Years of Dreams, Sweat and Tears
- Flightdeck Friday – Postings from the Naval Aviation Museum
- Saturday Matinee: US Naval Aviation – the First 100 Years
- National Museum of Naval Aviation – Some Thoughts and A Call to Action
- Flightdeck Friday – 100 Years of Naval Aviation and the USCG
- Guest Post: THE U.S. NAVYâ€™S FLEET PROBLEMS OF THE THIRTIES — A Dive Bomber Pilotâ€™s Perspective
- This Date in Naval Aviaiton History: Sept 18, 1962 – Changing Designators
- Centennial Of Naval Aviation – The Shadow Warriors