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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.

The B-18 had many parts based on the DC-2 / DC-3 airliner.

Competition

The DB-1 (Douglas Bomber) won against the Martin 146 and Boeing 299. The Boeing 299 crashed and was disqualified. It was to develop into the B-17.

Prototype

The DB-1 prototype was first flown in October 1935.

Production

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

  • B-18: 133
  • B-18A: 217
  • Digby I: 20
  • Total: 370

Variants

  • DB-1: Prototype.
  • DB-280: Douglas' designation.
  • B-18: Production model.
  • B-18A: Had longer and reshaped upper nose. Added a power operated dorsal turret. First flew in April 1937.
  • Digby I: B-18A built for Canadian Royal Air Force. Used primarily for maritime patrol.
  • B-18B: 122 B-18As were converted in 1941-42. Had nose radomes installed.
  • B-18C: Conversion delivered to Brazil.
  • C-58: Converted to a transport.

Usage

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

The B-18 entered service with the United States Army Air Corps in 1937.

Specifications

  Douglas B-18 Bolo
Type Medium bomber
Crew 6
Engine (Type) 2: Wright R-1820-45
Cylinders  
Cooling  
HP 930 each
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" MG
Dorsal position 1: 0.3" MG
Ventral position 1: 0.3" MG
Normal bomb load 4,000 lb
1,814 kg
Maximum bomb load 6,500 lb
2,948 kg
  Douglas B-18A Bolo
Type Bomber, Reconnaissance, Transport
Crew  
Engine (Type) 2: Wright R-1830-53
2: Wright Cyclone
Cylinders Radial 9
Cooling  
HP 1,000 each, 1,200 each
Propeller blades 3 each
Dimensions  
Span 89' 6", 90'
27.28 m
Length 56' 9", 57' 10"
17.63 m
Height 15' 1", 15' 2"
4.62 m
Wing area  
Weight  
Empty 16,321 lb
7,403 kg
Loaded 26,000 lb, 27,673 lb
12,552 kg
Performance  
Speed @ 10,000' /
3,048 m
215 mph, 225 mph
346 kph
Cruising speed 167 mph
268 kph
Range cruising  
Climb 1,030'/minute
314 m/minute
Service ceiling 23,900'
7,285 m
Range 1,180 miles, 1,200 miles
1,900 km
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