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United States' Douglas B-18 Bolo bomber

Photos

Douglas B-18A Bolo bomber:
United States' Douglas B-18 Bolo bomber
Aeronautics Aircraft Spotters' Handbook
Douglas B-18A Bolo bomber:
United States' Douglas B-18 Bolo bomber
Aeronautics Aircraft Spotters' Handbook

Design

The Douglas B-18 Bolo was designed to meet a United States Army Air Corps requirement given in 1934 to replace the B-10.1

The B-18 had many parts based on the DC-2 / DC-32 airliner.1

Competition

The DB-1 (Douglas Bomber) won against the Martin 146 and Boeing 299.1 The Boeing 299 crashed and was disqualified.1 It was to develop into the B-17.1

Prototype

The DB-1 prototype was first flown in October 1935.1

Production

In January 1936 133 B-18s were ordered.1 In June 1937 217 B-18As were ordered.1

  • B-18: 1331
  • B-18A: 2171
  • Digby I: 201
  • Total: 3701

Variants

  • DB-1: Prototype.1
  • DB-280: Douglas' designation.2
  • B-18: Production model.1
  • B-18A: Had longer and reshaped upper nose.1 Added a power operated dorsal turret.1 First flew in April 1937.1
  • Digby I: B-18A built for Canadian Royal Air Force.1 Used primarily for maritime patrol.1
  • B-18B: 122 B-18As were converted in 1941-42.1 Had nose radomes installed.1
  • B-18C: Conversion delivered to Brazil.1
  • C-58: Converted to a transport.1

Usage

The countries that used the B-18 were Brazil (2), Canada2 (20), and United States.1

The B-18 entered service with the United States Army Air Corps in 1937.1

Specifications

  Douglas B-18 Bolo
Type Medium bomber1
Crew 61
Engine (Type) 2: Wright R-1820-451
Cylinders  
Cooling  
HP 930 each1
Propeller blades  
Dimensions  
Span  
Length  
Height  
Wing area  
Weight  
Empty  
Loaded  
Performance  
Speed  
Cruising speed  
Range cruising  
Climb  
Service ceiling  
Range  
Armament  
Nose 1: 0.3" MG1
Dorsal position 1: 0.3" MG1
Ventral position 1: 0.3" MG1
Normal bomb load 4,000 lb1
1,814 kg1
Maximum bomb load 6,500 lb1
2,948 kg1
  Douglas B-18A Bolo
Type Bomber2, Reconnaissance2, Transport2
Crew  
Engine (Type) 2: Wright R-1830-531
2: Wright Cyclone2
Cylinders Radial 91
Cooling  
HP 1,000 each1, 1,200 each2
Propeller blades 3 each1
Dimensions  
Span 89' 6"1, 90'2
27.28 m1
Length 56' 9"2, 57' 10"1
17.63 m1
Height 15' 1"2, 15' 2"1
4.62 m1
Wing area  
Weight  
Empty 16,321 lb1
7,403 kg1
Loaded 26,000 lb2, 27,673 lb1
12,552 kg1
Performance  
Speed @ 10,000' /
3,048 m
215 mph1, 225 mph2
346 kph1
Cruising speed 167 mph1
268 kph1
Range cruising  
Climb 1,030'/minute1
314 m/minute1
Service ceiling 23,900'1
7,285 m1
Range 1,180 miles1, 1,200 miles2
1,900 km1
Armament  

Sources:

  1. Aircraft of WWII, Stewart Wilson, 1998
  2. Aeronautics Aircraft Spotters' Handbook, Ensign L. C. Guthman, 1943
20th Century American Military History Crucial Site