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      Martin-Baker MB.2 Fighter Prototype  

    Martin-Baker MB.2 Fighter Prototype


    Largely recognized as an ejection seat-maker today, Martin-Baker began as an aircraft-maker prior to World War 2.





     Updated: 10/26/2015; Authored By Staff Writer; Content ¬©www.MilitaryFactory.com


    Before the Martin-Baker name became associated with ejection seats in jet-powered aircraft, it established itself as an aircraft maker just prior to World War 2 (1939-1945). The company was formed by (Sir) James Martin as "Martin's Aircraft Works" during 1929 and became the "Martin-Baker Aircraft Company Ltd" in 1934 when Martin partnered with Captain Valentine Baker. Their first joint venture become the civilian market-minded Martin-Baker "MB.1".

    Martin-Baker introduced to Britain its first true modern low-wing monoplane form at a time when biplanes were still making up the air service. Its early work on aircraft brought along an all-new construction scheme which simplified both manufacture and maintenance while also proving a weight-saving measure. The aircraft that became the MB.1 aeroplane used a Napier "Javelin" 6-cylinder inline piston engine of 160 horsepower to drive a two-bladed propeller. The cockpit was wholly enclosed for a most modern appearance though the undercarriage used fixed main legs. In testing that occurred during 1935, the aircraft clocked speeds of 125 miles per hour. However the design was not evolved past this sole flyable prototype but nonetheless influenced the still-to-come designs to emerge from the company.

    The MB.2 itself was in the works as early as 1935 and its construction began in the following year. The fuselage qualities of the MB.1 were employed into the new aircraft to produce a lightweight form with inherently good aerodynamic qualities. Again the aircraft was being worked on under the guise of a private venture but thought eventually turned to it fulfilling the standing Air Ministry's Specification F.5/34, which appeared in November of 1934, calling for a modern frontline fighter capable of speeds reaching 275 miles per hour and with a service ceiling up to 33,000 feet.


    Martin-Baker MB.2 Technical Specifications


    Service Year: 1938
    Type: Fighter Prototype
    National Origin: United Kingdom
    Manufacturer(s): Martin-Baker - UK
    Production Total: 1



    Structural (Crew Space, Dimensions and Weights)


    Operating Crew: 1
    Length: 34.78 feet (10.6 meters)
    Width: 34.12 feet (10.40 meters)
    Height: 9.84 feet (3.00 meters)

    Weight (Empty): 4,409 lb (2,000 kg)
    Weight (MTOW): 5,512 lb (2,500 kg)

    Installed Power and Standard Day Performance


    Engine(s): 1 x Napier Dagger III 24-cylinder H-type air-cooled radial piston engine developing 1,000 horsepower.

    Maximum Speed: 304 mph (490 kph; 265 knots)
    Maximum Range: 870 miles (1,400 km)
    Service Ceiling: 29,003 feet (8,840 meters; 5.49 miles)
    Rate-of-Climb: 2,200 feet-per-minute (671 m/min)

    Armament / Mission Payload


    PROPOSED (not fitted):
    8 x 0.303 caliber Browning M1919 machine guns in wings (four guns to a wing).

    Global Operators / Customers


    United Kingdom (cancelled)

    Model Variants (Including Prototypes)


    MB.2 - Base Series Designation; sole example completed.

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