World War II Vehicles, Tanks and Airplanes, picture of P-51 Mustang
World War II Vehicles, Tanks and Airplanes, picture of T-34/85
World War II Vehicles, Tanks and Airplanes, picture of Fw-190
World War II Vehicles, Tanks and Airplanes, picture of Churchill
wwiivehicles.com ©2016
Search:
United States' flagUnited States' Army Air Corps aircraft marking

United States' Douglas B-23 Dragon bomber

Photos

Douglas B-23 Dragon bomber:
United States' Douglas B-23 Dragon bomber
Aeronautics Aircraft Spotters' Handbook
Douglas B-23 Dragon bomber:
United States' Douglas B-23 Dragon bomber
Aeronautics Aircraft Spotters' Handbook

Design

The B-23 Dragon started out to be a medium bomber to replace the B-18, but it became an all crew trainer.1,2

The resulting XB-23 had a cleaner fuselage and added more defensive weapons.2 As the speed would be above 280 mph it was felt a nose gun wasn't necessary.2 The first ever tail gun, for a United States bomber, was installed.2

By 1939 the Army was going to purchase the B-17 so the B-23 was submitted in the medium bomber Circular Proposal 39-640.2 It finished 3rd and wasn't picked for mass production.2

Production

On July 27, 1939, the B-23 first flew.2

  • Douglas B-23 Dragon: 382
    • Manufacturer: Douglas Aircraft Co.2
    • Manufacturing location: Santa Monica, California2

Variants

  • XB-22: Rejected design that took B-18 and put in Wright Cyclone engines.2
  • XB-23: Design.2 None built.2
  • B-23: Production model.2
  • UC-67: Transport.2 19 B-23s stripped of armament.2

Usage

Reconnaissance

The 89th Reconnaissance Squadron, at March Field, California, received the first B-23.2

Bomber Group

In September 1940 the B-23s replaced the A-17As that were part of the 17th Bomb Group at March Field.2 These were replaced by B-25s in 1941.2

Transports

Some of the UC-67 transports were still being flown into the 1970s.2

Specifications

  Douglas B-23 Dragon
Type Medium bomber1,2
Crew 62
Engine (Type) 2: Wright Cyclone1
2: Wright R-2600-3 Twin Cyclone2
Cylinders Radial 142
Cooling Air2
HP 1,350 each1, 1,600 each2
Propeller blades 3 constant speed2
Dimensions  
Span 92'1,2
Length 58' 4"1,2
Height 18' 5"1
Wing area 993'2 2
Weight  
Empty 19,059 lb2
Loaded 26,500 lb1,2
Performance  
Speed 295 mph1
Speed @ 12,000' 282 mph2
Cruising speed 210 mph2
Range cruising  
Climb  
Service ceiling 31,600'2
Range 1,450 miles1
Range - loaded 1,400 miles2
Range - max 2,750 miles2
Armament  
Nose 1: .30 cal MG2
Waist 1: .30 cal MG2
Ventral 1: .30 cal MG2
Tail 1: .50 cal MG2
Bombs 4,000 lb2

Sources:

  1. Aeronautics Aircraft Spotters' Handbook, Ensign L. C. Guthman, 1943
  2. American Attack Aircraft Since 1926, E. R. Johnson, 2012
20th Century American Military History Crucial Site