Martin B-26 Marauder

The Martin B-26 Marauder was a World War II twin-engine medium bomber built by the Glenn L. Martin Company. First used in the Pacific Theater in early 1942, it was also used in the Mediterranean Theater and in Western Europe.

After entering service with the U.S. Army, the aircraft got a reputation as the "Widowmaker " due to the early models' high rate of accidents during takeoff and landings. The Marauder had to be flown by exact airspeeds, particularly on final approach and when one engine was out. The 150 mph (241 km/h) speed on short final was intimidating to pilots who were used to much slower speeds, and whenever they slowed down below what the manual stated, the aircraft would stall-out and crash. The B-26 became a safer aircraft once crews were re-trained and after aerodynamics modifications (increase of wing span and incidence, to give better take off performance, and a larger fin and rudder). After aerodynamic and design changes, the aircraft distinguished itself as "the chief bombardment weapon on the Western Front" according to a United States Army Air Forces dispatch from 1946. The Marauder ended World War II with the lowest loss rate of any USAAF bomber. A total of 5,288 were produced

The B-26 Marauder was used mostly in Europe but also saw action in the Mediterranean and the Pacific. In early combat the aircraft took heavy losses but was still one of the most successful medium-range bombers used by the U.S. Army Air Forces. The B-26 was initially deployed on combat missions in the South West Pacific in the spring of 1942, but most of the B-26s subsequently assigned to operational theaters were sent to England and the Mediterranean area.

By the end of World War II, it had flown more than 110,000 sorties and had dropped 150,000 tons (136,078 tonnes) of bombs, and had been used in combat by British, Free French and South African forces in addition to U.S. units. In 1945, when B-26 production was halted, 5,266 had been built.

General characteristics
  • Crew: 7: (2 pilots, bombardier, navigator/radio operator, 3 gunners)
  • Length: 58 ft 3 in (17.8 m)
  • Wingspan: 71 ft 0 in (21.65 m)
  • Height: 21 ft 6 in (6.55 m)
  • Wing area: 658 ft2 (61.1 m2)
  • Empty weight: 24,000 lb (11,000 kg)
  • Loaded weight: 37,000 lb (17,000 kg)
  • Powerplant: 2× Pratt & Whitney R-2800-43 radial engines, 1,900 hp (1,400 kW) each

  • Maximum speed: 287 mph (250 knots, 460 km/h) at 5,000 feet (1,500 m)
  • Cruise speed: 216 mph (188 knots, 358 km/h
  • Landing speed: 114 mph (90 knots, 167 km/h))
  • Combat radius: 1,150 mi (999 nmi, 1,850 km)
  • Ferry range: 2,850 mi (2,480 nmi, 4,590 km)
  • Service ceiling: 21,000 ft (6,400 m)
  • Wing loading: 46.4 lb/ft² (228 kg/m²)
  • Power/mass: 0.10 hp/lb (170 W/kg)

  • 12 × .50 in (12.7 mm) Browning machine guns
  • 4,000 pounds (1,800 kg)

** Martin B-26 Marauder- Warbird Fare

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