Martin B26 Marauder medium bomber
The B-26 Marauder was a twin-engined medium bomber with a streamlined fuselage of circular cross-section and a relatively small shoulder wing. It was difficult to handle, because of its high wing loading, but it also gave high performance. It started life with high accident rates due to it's high technical demands placed on the pilots. It was known to be a "hot" aircraft with a relatively fast landing speed around 152 mph. If an inexperienced pilot, and most trainees were, brought it in too slow it would stall and spin with little room to recover. With proper pilot training it later proved to be a safe and effective aircraft. Many crews grew to appreciate it's agility and strong defensive armament. With the B-25 Mitchell it formed the US medium bomber forces in WWII. These flew mainly daylight raids, called Ramrods, against such targets as railroad stations, coastal gun batteries, important factories, and bridges. There were 4863 built.
The B26G was powered by two Pratt & Whitney Double Wasp, 18 cylinder, air cooled, radial engines rated at 2,000 hp each (these also powered the P47 Thunderbolt and F4U Corsair fighters). Maximum speed at 5,000 feet with a maximum load was 283 mph with a cruising speed of 190 mph. It had an operational ceiling of 19,800 ft, a range of 1,100 miles and a maximum bomb load of 4,000 lbs. It packed a mighty defensive armament of 11 M2 50 caliber machine guns located in the dorsal turret, tail, belly and nose. All of this armament required a crew of seven: two pilots, bomb aimer/nose gunner, navigator, top gunner, tail gunner and belly gunner.
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