North American B-25 Mitchell

The North American B-25 Mitchell was an American twin-engined medium bomber manufactured by North American Aviation. It was used by many Allied air forces, in every theater of World War II, as well as many other air forces after the war ended, and saw service across four decades.

The B-25 was named in honor of General Billy Mitchell, a pioneer of U.S. military aviation. The B-25 is the only American military aircraft named after a specific person. By the end of its production, nearly 10,000 B-25s in numerous models had been built.

The B-25 first gained fame as the bomber used in the 18 April 1942 Doolittle Raid, in which 16 B-25Bs led by the legendary Lieutenant Colonel Jimmy Doolittle, attacked mainland Japan four months after the bombing of Pearl Harbor. The mission gave a much-needed lift in spirits to the Americans, and alarmed the Japanese who had believed their home islands were inviolable by enemy troops. While the amount of actual damage done was relatively minor, it forced the Japanese to divert troops for the home defense for the remainder of the war. The raiders took off from the carrier USS Hornet and successfully bombed Tokyo and four other Japanese cities without loss. However, 15 subsequently crash-landed en route to recovery fields in Eastern China. These losses were the result of the task force being spotted by Japanese fishing vessels forcing the bombers to take off 170 mi (270 km) early, fuel exhaustion, stormy nighttime conditions with zero visibility, and lack of electronic homing aids at the recovery bases. Only one landed intact; it came down in the Soviet Union, where its five-man crew was interned and the aircraft confiscated. Of the 80 aircrew, 69 survived their historic mission and eventually made it back to American lines.

B-25 on Doolittle Raid

General characteristics
  • Crew: six
  • Length: 52 ft 11 in (16.1 m)
  • Wingspan: 67 ft 6 in (20.6 m)
  • Height: 17 ft 7 in (4.8 m)
  • Wing area: 610 sq ft (57 m²)
  • Empty weight: 21,120 lb (9,580 kg)
  • Loaded weight: 33,510 lb (15,200 kg)
  • Max takeoff weight: 41,800 lb (19,000 kg)
  • Powerplant: 2× Wright R-2600 "Cyclone 14" radials, 1,850 hp (1,380 kW) each

  • Maximum speed: 275 mph (239 kn, 442 km/h)
  • Cruise speed: 230 mph (200 kn, 370 km/h)
  • Combat radius: 1,350 mi (1,170 nmi, 2,170 km)
  • Ferry range: 2,700 mi (2,300 nmi, 4,300 km)
  • Service ceiling: 25,000 ft (7,600 m)
  • Rate of climb: 790 ft/min (4 m/s)
  • Wing loading: 55 lb/ft² (270 kg/m²)
  • Power/mass: 0.110 hp/lb (182 W/kg)

  • 12–18 × .50 in (12.7 mm) machine guns
  • 2,000 lb (900 kg) ventral shackles to hold one external Mark 13 torpedo
  • 3,000 lb (1,360 kg) bombs + eight 5 in (130 mm) high velocity aircraft rockets (HVAR)
  • 6,000 lb (2,700 kg)

** North American B-25 Mitchell - Warbird Fare

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