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United States' Lockheed PV-1 Ventura bomber, Lockheed PV-1 / B-34 Ventura bomber

Photos

Lockheed PV-1 Ventura bomber with the RAF:
United States' Lockheed PV-1 Ventura bomber with the RAF
Aeronautics Aircraft Spotters' Handbook
Lockheed PV-1 Ventura bomber:
United States' Lockheed PV-1 Ventura bomber
Aeronautics Aircraft Spotters' Handbook
Lockheed PV-1 Ventura bomber:
United States' Lockheed PV-1 Ventura bomber

Design

Lockheed proposed to the British Air Ministry to modify the Lodestar to make a replacement for the Hudson and the Blemheim.

The Ventura was to have a larger bomb load than the Hudson.

Prototype

The Ventura I prototype first flew on July 31, 1941.

In September 1942 the first B-37 flew.

Production

Britain placed an order for 400 / 675 in 1940. Deliveries of the Ventura I started in June 1942.

  • Lockheed B-34A: 893
    • Manufacturer: Vega Division of Lockheed
      Manufacturing location: Burbank, California
  • Lockheed B-37: 18
  • Lockheed PV-1: 1,600
  • Total: 2,475
    • Manufacturer: Lockheed Aircraft Company

Variants

  • Lockheed-Vega 37: Lockheed's designation.
  • Lockheed B-34 Lexington, Ventura Mk II: USAAF designation for the maritime patrol version.
  • Lockheed B-34A, Ventura Mk II:
  • Lockheed B-37 Lexington: USAAF designation for the maritime patrol version. Had Wright R-2600 Cyclone engines (1,700 HP).
  • Lockheed GR.I: RAF Coastal Command designation.
  • Lockheed GR.V: RAF Coastal Command designation.
  • Lockheed PV-1, Ventura V: Solid nose. Used in Pacific starting in late 1942. United States navy received 888. British and Commonwealth air forces received 712.
  • Lockheed PV-1 ??: Marine Corps night fighter with 6 forward firing guns and British AI radar.
  • Lockheed PV-1P: Photo reconnaissance.
  • Lockheed PV-2 Harpoon: Increased range and load carrying. Saw limited used and were phased out of the United States Navy in 1948.
  • Lockheed PV-3: British constructed Ventura II / PV-1s built under contract. 27 of these were taken over by the United States Navy and used as patrol planes.
  • Lockheed Ventura I: Had two Pratt & Whitney R-2800-S1A4G Double Wasp radial 18 engines (1,850 HP).
  • Lockheed Ventura II: Had two Pratt & Whitney R-2800-31 engines.
  • Lockheed Ventura Mk IIA: Lend-Lease supplied.

Usage

Australia, Britain , Canada, France, New Zealand (139), South Africa (207), and the United States used the Ventura.

United Kingdom

Initially used, unsuccessfully, as a light bomber in the RAF. It's main success came as a maritime patrol plane in the Coastal Command.

The Venturas were used successfully on a raid of the Phillips factory at Eindhoven.

The RAF eventually received 394 Venturas.

United States Army

The Army took over 200 /264 of the Venturas originally built for the RAF. These became the R-37.

United States Navy

Based on the Coastal Commands success at using the PV-1 as a maritime patrol plan, the United States Navy decided to use it in the Pacific.

The US Navy used around 1,600 of the PV-1 Venturas.

United States Marines

In November 1943 the VMF(N)-531, first Marine night fighter unit, shot down it's first plane with a radar equipped PV-1.

Royal New Zealand Air Force

On December 24, 1943, Ventura crew in the No. 1 Squadron, shot down three Mitsubishi Zeros.

After World War II

Many were sold to other countries to be used in their air forces. Some saw use as crop sprayers and executive transports.

Specifications

  Lockheed PV-1 Ventura, B-34
Type Bomber, Bomber reconnassaince, Maritime patrol
Crew 4 - 5
Engine (Type) 2: Pratt & Whitney R-2800-31 Double Wasp
2: Pratt & Whitney Twin Wasp
Cylinders Radial, Radial 18
Cooling Air
HP 1,850 each, 2,000 each
Propeller blades 3 each
Dimensions  
Span 65' 6"
19.96 m
Length 51' 8", 51' 9", 57' 6"
15.77 m
Height 11' 10", 11' 11"
3.63 m
Wing area 686 ft2
63.73 m2
Weight  
Empty 20,154 lb, 20,197 lb
9,161 kg
Loaded 31,077 lb, 33,924 lb
14,097 kg, 15,422 kg
Performance  
Speed @ 13,800' /
4,205 m
312 mph, 321 mph, 322 mph
518 kph
Cruising speed 164 mph
264 kph
Climb 2,230'/minute
680 m/minute
Service ceiling 26,300'
8,015 m, 8,016 m
Range 1,650 miles, 1,660 miles
2,670 km, 2,671 km
Armament 6: MG
Nose 2: 12.7 mm MG
2: 0.5" MG
Dorsal turret 2: 12.7 mm MG
2: 0.5" MG
Ventral position 2: 7.62 mm MG
2: 0.303" MG
Under nose  
Bomb-bay 6: 500 lb bombs
3,000 lb, 5,000 lb
6: 227 kg bombs
1,360 kg
OR 1: torpedo
Under wings 2: 1,000 lb bombs
2,000 lb
2: 454 kg bombs
907 kg
  B-34A
Type Medium Bomber
Crew 4 - 5
Engine (Type) 2: Pratt & Whitney R-2800-31 Double Wasp
Cylinders Radial 18
Cooling Air
HP 2,000 each
Propeller blades 3 constant speed
Dimensions  
Span 65' 6"
Length 51' 5"
Height  
Wing area 551 ft2
Weight  
Empty 17,275 lb
Loaded 25,600 lb
Performance  
Speed @ 15,500' 315 mph
Cruising speed 230 mph
Climb  
Service ceiling 24,000'
Range - loaded 950 miles
Range - max 2,600 miles
Armament  
Nose 2: .50 cal MG
2: .30 cal MG
Dorsal turret 2: .50 cal MG
Ventral position 2: .30 cal MG
Bombs 3,000 lb

Sources:

  1. Aircraft of WWII, General Editor: Jim Winchester, 2004
  2. Aircraft of WWII, Stewart Wilson, 1998
  3. World War II Airplanes Volume 2, Enzo Angelucci, Paolo Matricardi, 1976
  4. Aeronautics Aircraft Spotters' Handbook, Ensign L. C. Guthman, 1943
  5. American Attack Aircraft Since 1926, E. R. Johnson, 2012
20th Century American Military History Crucial Site